StateTech ran a poll on Twitter not long ago that asked, “Which is the top roadblock to moving to the cloud for state and local government IT decision-makers?” The poll offered often-cited options for response, including cybersecurity, limited expertise, inflexibilities in legacy IT, and budget challenges.
We realize, of course, that these options are intertwined. So, when 44 percent of respondents indicated cybersecurity was the biggest roadblock, its understood that strong cybersecurity also requires having the appropriate expertise and the right tools for the job.
Where expertise is concerned, it’s no panacea to simply shrug and suggest outsourcing may resolve all concerns. An informed government IT enterprise is a trustworthy and efficient government IT enterprise, and IT officials cannot afford to take a hands-off approach to administering their resources. A good public steward wants to speak of security operations with confidence.
And clearly, many IT agencies are running efficient and lean operations and have little time to expand individual responsibilities. Still, upskilling may prove vital to allaying cybersecurity concerns in the long run. By gaining additional cybersecurity skills, government employees can assure stakeholders that they have their eyes and ears tuned to IT security concerns.
Cloud computing offers tremendous cybersecurity protections, but it has the potential to provide greater peace of mind through automation that may free employees from rote or repetitive tasks and thus allow time for upgrades.
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Opportunities for Upskilling
Last fall, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers published the first in a biennial series of surveys of cloud computing among state governments. StateTech has cited the report often in recent months, in part because it’s full of eye-opening statistics. For instance, the survey reveals that 89 percent of respondents still use legacy mainframe computers, and 71 percent have not moved any mainframe applications to the cloud.
State CIOs readily acknowledged some benefits of cloud. In the survey report, “A Fresh Look: Capitals in the Clouds,” 89 percent of CIOs said hybrid cloud was an ideal configuration for their operations. NASCIO reminds IT administrators that cloud-native capabilities such as artificial intelligence and machine learning can handle specialized workloads, relieving stress on IT agencies.
Machine learning and robotic process automation also offer great potential to free IT officials from other tasks and perhaps open opportunities for cybersecurity advancements. Those opportunities may prove more valuable than other automation benefits for time-strapped IT administrators.
EXPLORE: How enhancements to cloud platforms can improve endpoint security.