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Managed Cloud Services for the Public Sector

Cloud is not a one-size-fits-all proposition

Cloud is not a one-size-fits-all proposition – clearly, the right approach depends on your organization’s needs and priorities. Different service and deployment models can be adopted to match the requirements of different types of workloads from across the whole organization.

To illustrate some of these solution trade-offs, we’ll profile public-sector organization needs, and their related information technology and communications service requirements.

Government entities will use a variety of Cloud configurations. Those of sufficient scale will likely adopt similar Cloud models to those of large enterprises. Organizations with common needs and interests may join together to build and share community clouds.

Some government services may be provided through the public clouds of managed service providers. A major issue for public-sector organizations will be balancing concerns and regulations regarding privacy and security with aspirations for transparency and sharing information.

Community Cloud Use-Case Scenario

  • Governments are challenged to provide seamless, open, and transparent access to services and information while protecting security interests.
  • End-users (e.g., constituents, journalists, government analysts, law enforcement, military, intelligence analysts) need secure access to information from various media, formats, and geographies.
  • Traditionally, public sector organizations have taken a silo approach to data management (e.g., mapping specific information to specific communities of users). While the siloed approach offers some security benefits, it limits true collaboration potential.

Role for Cloud Technologies

  • Community clouds offer a consolidated approach to shared resources, allowing data and applications to be stored collectively.
  • Different end-users are able to work securely and collaboratively using these common datasets, thereby increasing transparency, cooperation, and efficiency.

Application Considerations

  • Security and compliance policies must still be defined and managed (particularly for sensitive data sets).

We anticipate that there will be growing demand for collaboration solutions to support secure and rich collaboration experiences within and across government agencies -- and with external organizations.

While government organizations may also see tangible benefits in using public clouds, we expect private and hybrid cloud models to be popular. Hybrid clouds will come in many flavors, including the virtual private cloud model in which an organization has access to dedicated resources in a public cloud. An increasing percentage of total IT spend will move to managed hybrid clouds as the technology and applications mature.

Government organizations should invest the time to determine where Cloud applications are most appropriate, based on workload-specific requirements around cost, risk, and performance.

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More Stories By David H Deans

David H. Deans is the Managing Director at the GeoActive Group. He has more than 25 years of experience in the Technology, Media and Telecom sectors.