The cloud presents a great opportunity to reduce cost while increasing performance.
Many government agencies are moving past selecting an infrastructure-as-a-service provider and are wrestling with the challenge of actually achieving value from the cloud. Recent request for information back this assertion as solicitations focus on transitions and multi-cloud environments. Conversations with agency cloud practitioners and procurement officials reveal the need for good, simple advice that can help them move forward.
We have developed 12 golden rules to help agencies make the most of their cloud investment and implementation. On the surface many of these ideas may seem obvious, but the rate of cloud implementation failure suggests otherwise. After over 30 years in the IT business, I find it is useful to put these rules in place at the start as an organization builds its cloud strategy.
1. Start with a cloud center of excellence. Like any major IT investment that results in significant agency change, cloud initiatives need structural support. We recommend standing up a cross-cutting CCoE with the charter, governance, leadership, expertise and clout necessary to achieve results. The CCoE should include a program management office (PMO) to manage the financial, change, communications, technical and operational challenges associated with cloud implementations.
2. It’s still IT infrastructure. As with any government IT program, the same rules around governance and security still apply — but with increased complexity and accelerated timelines. Make sure the CCoE PMO can work across the organization to get things done quickly.
3. Look beyond the technology. Successful cloud implementations go beyond simply ordering IaaS from a cloud service provider. The cloud ecosystem should include the cloud management platforms, disaster recovery solutions, governance and compliance monitoring tools and professional services to ensure success. As agencies move past IaaS, the ecosystem can be expanded to include artificial and machine intelligence and platform- and software-as-a-service options.
4. Change management is important. Implementing the cloud involves the movement of sand piles, so turf battles inevitably emerge. To avoid last minute confusion and standoffs, make sure a robust change management function is part of the PMO. – Read more