Sep 13 2023

Fact or Fallacy: Hybrid Cloud’s Potential Benefits to State and Local Governments

Agencies can hold data on-premises and yet share it in a hybrid cloud environment.

The age of digital transformation is upon us, and hybrid cloud solutions are taking center stage in managing state and local government agency operations. Hybrid cloud is an environment that blends on-premises, private cloud and third-party public cloud services. But does a hybrid cloud really benefit state and local governments? Does it aid in sharing information and analyzing data as it claims to do?

Fact: Hybrid Cloud Can Better Flexibility and Scalability

For government agencies, managing the ebb and flow of data can be a major challenge. Certain times, such as tax season or election day, can see significant spikes in data traffic. In response, cloud services can be scaled up to manage increased demand, or they can be scaled down when demand is low. With its ability to adjust the amount of resources used and the flexibility to use different types of services, hybrid cloud can be a great help in managing the ups and downs of data traffic.

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Fallacy: Hybrid Cloud Is More Cost Effective Than Alternatives

While hybrid cloud can offer some savings, it’s not always less expensive. Cost-efficiency in a hybrid cloud depends on several factors, including the agency’s specific needs, the costs associated with migrating to the cloud, ongoing operational costs and potential costs incurred due to security incidents or data loss. A thorough cost-benefit analysis is required to determine whether hybrid cloud is an agency’s most economical choice.

Fact: Hybrid Cloud Enhances Security and Compliance

Hybrid cloud can help agencies improve their security and stay in compliance. For example, agencies can keep their most sensitive data in the private cloud, where they have full control over it and can apply strict security measures. Less sensitive data can be stored in the public cloud. With hybrid cloud, agencies can also easily control where and how they store their data to meet different regulations. Certain data can be kept in the private cloud to comply with privacy laws, while data that doesn’t have such restrictions can be stored in the public cloud.

EXPLORE: Why traditionally reluctant governments have increased trust in cloud security.

Fallacy: All Cloud Services Are the Same

Hybrid cloud isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Every agency has unique requirements depending on the services it provides, the kind of data it stores and the regulations it must follow. With hybrid cloud, an agency isn’t stuck with just one type of service. Agencies can use different services to find the best combination. This means an agency can get the benefits of each type of service while avoiding the downsides. For instance, it can get the security of a private cloud with the scalability of a public cloud.

Fact: Hybrid Cloud Supports Improved Information Sharing

Hybrid cloud allows different agencies and departments within agencies to easily share data. That’s because the data is stored on the cloud and can be accessed from anywhere, at any time. Besides just sharing data, hybrid cloud platforms also provide tools and applications that make working together easier. Multiple people can work on the same document at the same time or communicate instantly through the platform. This way, teams can collaborate on a project even if they’re in different locations.

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Fallacy: Hybrid Cloud Is Less Secure Than On-Premises Tools

This is a common misconception. Hybrid cloud provides a layered security approach, so there are multiple levels of security measures in place. If one layer is breached, there are other layers that still protect the data. Additionally, hybrid cloud systems are typically managed by companies that have a deep understanding of security risks. These companies dedicate a lot of resources to security, often more than a single agency could provide on its own. They also regularly update security measures, ensuring that their systems are protected against the latest threats.

Fact: Hybrid Cloud Enhances Valuable Data Analysis

Critics may argue that hybrid cloud makes data analysis more complicated because the data is spread across multiple platforms. Actually, hybrid cloud solutions enhance data analysis. By leveraging Big Data and artificial intelligence in the cloud, agencies can process and analyze vast amounts of data more quickly and efficiently. However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of data analysis in a hybrid cloud environment requires proper data management strategies, including data integration and quality assurance.

LEARN MORE: How Backup as a Service boosts data protection.

Fallacy: Cloud Management Is Fully Automated

While automation in a hybrid cloud can reduce the workload and minimize human error, people still play a crucial role in many aspects of cloud management. Their knowledge, context awareness and decision-making skills are necessary to make the most out of the hybrid cloud system. Setting up and maintaining cloud management tasks requires human intervention. In a hybrid cloud, orchestration is used to coordinate tasks across different parts of the system. Yet, people often need to monitor them and step in if something unexpected happens.

Fact: Hybrid Cloud Makes Continuity and Disaster Recovery Posssible

With a hybrid cloud, data and applications aren’t all stored in one place — they’re spread across onsite servers, private clouds and public clouds. If an outage occurs, not all data and apps will be affected, and they can keep running without causing a complete shutdown. If data is lost, backups stored in the cloud can be quickly accessed and restored. Moreover, in a hybrid cloud environment, apps can be duplicated or mirrored across multiple platforms. This means that if one platform fails, the other can take over, ensuring continuity of service.

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