Unanticipated Difficulties Moving to the Cloud?
In the Unisys IT Modernization Revolution survey of September 2017 that polled 200 federal IT decision makers, we found that government IT leaders are experiencing a number of significant challenges while attempting to drive IT modernization across their agencies. As you’d expect, adoption of cloud computing is a major modernization priority.
We found it particularly interesting that the majority of survey participants self-reported ‘unanticipated difficulties’ in adopting cloud services. This finding is in-line with our own experiences. Adopting the cloud is a deceptively tricky business.
So why are federal agencies finding it so challenging to adopt cloud services? AWS and Microsoft both offer a rapid pathway to consuming cloud—after all, you only need a credit card and you’re spinning up servers in minutes. How can it be so hard?
We polled some of our heavy hitting cloud practitioners on what these difficulties are, and we’re pleased to offer our own David Letterman style Top Ten list of cloud adoption challenges.
- Lack of understanding of the public cloud “shared responsibility” model, i.e., what needs to be managed and by whom for successful IT Ops and Cyber Ops
- Not having a practical playbook that helps agencies turn the idea of wanting to move to the cloud into a tangible work plan
- A lack of skills and/or training to effectively plan for and successfully operate workloads running in the public cloud
- Concerns around securing government apps and data running in the public cloud and corresponding data ownership
- Not fully understanding a FedRAMP package or, even worse, not trusting it and insisting on a fresh top-to-bottom security review
- Difficulties in making a compelling business case to justify the migration
- Challenges in reworking legacy data center-centric, tried-and true-governance models and service management tools to manage the public cloud
- Costs associated with paying for two environments simultaneously during a migration
- Establishing and sustaining contract vehicles that can flex to accommodate innovation of Cloud Service Providers
- Providing a transparent invoice for cloud services that a contracting officer can understand and approve
We think that moving to the public cloud is an important inflection point and requires a mind shift to be successful. Yes, the cloud should be considered a pool of virtually endless compute capacity; but it also represents an opportunity to drive real digital transformation. We think adopting cloud can and should meet the needs of scaling capacity models while allowing customers to solve mission-critical challenges quickly and securely. Moving to the cloud is far more involved than simply spinning up servers.
At Unisys we are meeting these challenges head on through our soon-to-be-launched CloudForte™ capability. We will leverage our unique depth of transformative experience, commitment to security, and corporate scale to our customers. Our mission is to provide our clients with the necessary tools for today’s technology and support to deliver better outcomes securely, rapidly, and cost effectively to move to the cloud. The time is now to offer a next-generation cloud adoption and management practice based on the principles of automation, security by design and continuous compliance. This is truly a great time to serve our government clients to help them achieve their mission goals and deliver more citizen-centric services.