Oct 05 2023

State and Local Agencies Make Data-Driven Decisions with Hybrid Cloud

Cloud apps and services can spur collaboration between organizations that hold data on-premises.

State and local governments have long had good reasons to operate IT infrastructure on-premises, particularly when it comes to data storage. Some data, such as information that includes citizens’ Social Security numbers, is too sensitive to quickly trust its care to others. But the inability to share data in siloed systems undercuts the effectiveness of government decision-making, creating an occasional dilemma as to how officials can be kept informed effectively.

Enter hybrid cloud, which supports opportunities for state and local agencies to have the best of both worlds. They can keep control of their data and also process it for sharing within interagency deliberations. Cloud apps, now often strengthened by artificial intelligence, can bridge a divide and help one agency benefit from another’s expertise.

Such information sharing can herald very powerful conclusions in data-driven decision-making.

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Localities Demonstrate the Power of Unifying Data Sets

City agencies may share data with each other or with the public through an open-data platform, such as a geospatial map. Using geospatial information systems, a public transit agency can plot a bus or train route across the city for citizens. By examining a municipal open-data map, citizens may use the same data to assess the incidence of crime across a transportation route to gauge their personal safety while traveling.

Going a step further, local agencies can share data collaboratively to assess whether enhanced transit options or other community resources might mitigate crime in specific areas. While recognizing that correlation does not imply causation, city hall could pilot initiatives and observe their effects by marking the data.

Hybrid cloud makes possible this sort of assessment. Criminal justice may hold data on-premises — such as crime statistics over time, sorted by severity — and transportation agencies may have data on historic transit patterns and infrastructure investments. Evaluating one agency’s data through the lens of another agency’s mission is possible through the cloud-powered GIS overlay. This kind of analysis can provide a valuable line of input into data-driven decision-making that could guide effective government investments.

As this a recent StateTech column, “3 Steps to Optimize An Agency’s Hybrid Cloud Environment,” says, agencies should consider their business requirements, staff skills and automation capacity when setting their hybrid cloud goals. A well-managed initiative may yield great potential for improved citizen services.

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