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3 Phases on the Journey to Multicloud

As the pandemic shifted more work online and remote work became the norm, government agencies move to a multi-cloud environment quickly. However, many agencies are realising that not all apps and workloads are suited to the cloud. Skyrocketing costs due to data egress, poor performance from lack of in-house skills to manage workloads in public clouds and security complications related to compliance demands have made many cloud workloads problematic.

This year will be “the year of multi-cloud strategy” when federal IT leaders take a step back and prioritise creating a comprehensive plan for deploying multicloud environments. There are three critical phases to thoughtful deployment that will allow agencies to reap all the benefits that multicloud has to offer. These three stages include assessing the current IT system, determining where workloads belong and mapping out plans and achieving business goals set out in those plans.

Phase 1: Assess the current IT ecosystem

Throughout this process, agencies may determine that some apps must be repatriated, or moved back from the cloud to on-premises. For best decision-making, this is the time to examine data egress (when applications send data back and forth from clouds or downloads and files are moved to external storage).

This is especially important for agencies that have experienced unforeseen cloud costs due to unanticipated egress costs and misunderstanding how chatty their on-premises apps would be with apps in the public cloud. The key to success for this phase will be less about applications and more about where workloads and corresponding data reside.

Phase 2: Determine where workloads belong and map out a plan

After thoroughly vetting the current IT environment and app workloads, it’s time to map out getting from an “as-is” state to the “to be” state. This process will encompass gauging what workloads need to be containerized and ported, which refactored and which rewritten entirely.

Phase 3: Achieve goals set out in the plan

This phase should also be iterative, never stopping after implementation, and aim to reduce time to value, minimize risk and manage costs more effectively. Navigating multicloud is not simply a matter of technology. Successful transitions involve people, processes and technology. Agencies will have to prepare for a cultural shift, process changes and be equipped with the necessary technologies and training to enable successful multi-cloud deployment.

To effectively manage costs, agencies will need automated continuous monitoring that focuses on instances. Too often, organizations have been surprised by shadow IT where employees knowingly or unknowingly use cloud services that contribute to exhausting the cloud budget. Actively managing instances and services in the multi-cloud environment is vital to monitoring costs.

By incorporating a more thoughtful approach to multi-cloud, federal agencies stand to glean more of its benefits in the coming year, including increased agility, flexibility, efficiency, performance, security and cost management.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, a report titled “Government Cloud Platforms 2021–2022 RadarView” evaluated 15 providers based on product maturity, enterprise adaptability and future readiness. The report identifies four trends that are shaping the market. The first is the increasing compliance needs that are accelerating the shift to the cloud. The cloud helps agencies address sensitive workloads, such as those involving health care data while complying with requirements.

The second trend is the emergence of tailored cloud regions for communities such as defence and intelligence. Such regions can address the level of sensitive data that these communities work with, and these users can look to these isolated cloud resources to deploy workloads securely and compliantly.

The third trend is the fact that convergence with emerging technologies is driving change. Fourth, government cloud providers are expanding their influence by growing into new regions and helping the public sector shift to cloud while maintaining data governance and sovereignty.

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