Right Sizing Your Cloud Investment
A Q&A with Susie Adams, Microsoft’s U.S. Federal chief technology officer and GDIT Emerge speaker
What’s the key technology that’s an emerging game changer for the federal government?
Clearly, it’s the cloud and hyper-scale computing. This is a huge opportunity for government, and I think everyone sees the potential for cloud capabilities like IaaS and SaaS as well as big data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to address government’s biggest challenges. Hyper-scale cloud computing is changing how we think about digitally transforming traditional IT. The way we work has changed and the tools we now have allow us to more quickly and cost effectively transform how government runs. The cloud fundamentally changes the way we do computing, how we solve problems and drive digital transformations that deliver innovation, efficiency, productivity, and new or improved citizen services.
How is the cloud specifically helping government?
The cloud is providing government agencies capabilities that help them automate citizen services and incorporate AI with no code/low code solutions and bots that improve how constituents communicate with government. It’s allowing agencies to process and analyze large data sets very inexpensively to gain valuable insights that lead to better services, greater employee productivity, streamlined operations, and cost savings. The cloud is also enhancing agency security. In fact, the cloud is enabling so many different opportunities and improvements, it’s almost daunting to determine where to begin. I’m impressed that so many government leaders are moving quickly to embrace the cloud and take advantage of its powerful capabilities.
Where do agencies begin to determine which services and opportunities to modernize first?
Microsoft works with great partners like GDIT to help agencies think about IT modernization as digital transformation. It’s not about writing a new app to change a business process anymore; that’s not the world we live in. Digital transformation is truly today’s federal IT opportunity. You’re going to digitally transform the way that government works, runs and engages citizens, and how you empower employees, optimize operations, and transform services. It’s not traditional IT at all.
How should agencies accelerate their move to the cloud and ensure they are right sizing their cloud investment?
The Microsoft Azure IT roadmap starts with looking at your agency’s comprehensive environment, taking an inventory and understanding the technologies you already have and then deciding what low-hanging fruit can move to the cloud and what should stay on premise. Next, we establish a hybrid cloud environment, clean up your active directory and determine how to secure that hybrid world before beginning to think about migrating workloads. We then help thoroughly evaluate all the technical and business factors to identify which workloads can migrate to the cloud. In general, our workload migration approach begins with the least technically complex and impactful to an agency’s business. Rationalizing and right sizing your applications deserves careful attention and can be the difference between a successful digital transformation versus just lifting-and-shifting to the cloud. We used to talk about cloud first; now we focus on being cloud smart. I’m looking forward to discussing this topic, how Microsoft and GDIT are collaborating to address government’s toughest challenges, and providing examples of agencies accelerating their cloud investment and ensuring they are right sized at GDIT Emerge on April 23!
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