Jul 16 2019

Hybrid Cloud Addresses the Unique Concerns of Government

State and local agencies turn to the model to strike a balance between what to keep private and what to resource publicly.

Cloud services remain a top priority for state and local government IT leaders, as evidenced by consistently strong showings in polls by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers examining CIO priorities. NASCIO 2019 survey respondents said cloud services ranked No. 2 among state CIOs’ top 10 priorities for strategies, management and process solutions. 

Meanwhile, the hybrid cloud model has been a strategic component for increasing cloud adoption. Hybrid cloud empowers government to combine local and remote computing as necessary, as Utah state CIO Michael Hussey describes in the example of public safety video surveillance, which relies on on-premises storage to collect video files and cloud solutions to process and store the video data.

“Just because of the sheer volume of the data we’re pushing to the cloud, we have staging servers on-premises,” Hussey says. “We take the police video, stage it locally and then the on-premises infrastructure pushes it to the cloud when there’s availability. There’s a hybrid approach, even for applications that reside in the cloud.”


Governments Become More Comfortable with Cloud Security 

As experts like those at IBM observe, concerns over cloud security pose a barrier to government adoption of the cloud. Public agencies have been particularly reluctant to turn to public cloud for critical or sensitive systems, IBM says. But the hybrid cloud model provides a means for agencies to choose a service based on data and security concerns.

Stakeholders are becoming increasingly comfortable with cloud security overall. Public cloud workloads will experience roughly 60 percent fewer security incidents than workloads housed in traditional data centers through 2020, says Gartner’s Kasey Panetta, highlighting growing confidence in the cloud across all sectors.

But if adopting public cloud seems a step too far for the public sector, hybrid cloud allows government leaders to wade into the environment without fully committing. The Ohio Office of Information Technology captures this perfectly in its cloud computing guidelines, which call for hybrid solutions in Software as a Service and integration solutions and private cloud in public safety or life-critical services. All states can benefit from weighing their cloud options as carefully as Ohio.

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