Cloud's Role in Your Digital Journey

Cloud's Role in Your Digital Journey

Thomas Beck, Principal, Deloitte

As CIOs and State IT leaders, you are well aware that digital transformation in state government is inevitable. As your organization evolves and transforms, cloud should be one of the critical components you take with you on that journey. In fact, NASCIO just released its annual survey of state information technology leaders on critical priorities for the coming year and cloud services is ranked as a close second just behind security (up one spot from last year).

But before you define (or design) your cloud adoption strategy, take time to identify the ways in which cloud can play a role and how cloud capabilities align with your organization’s goals. So, at the end of the day it’s not if, but how cloud can make a real difference.

"The impacts of cloud adoption are far-reaching, to your people, processes, and technology. It is important to recognize that amid change, cloud creates opportunity to redefine your organization. "

Did you know that cloud’s transformative power can reach and reinvent a wide range of areas for which you, the CIO, are accountable? Under your leadership, cloud’s impact can stretch across digital, analytics, and security, resulting in positive change throughout your organization. Here’s a glimpse at how:

• Digital

Digital is the focal point of business process renewal and unified, citizen-centric experiences—it is where your services and your constituents come together. Cloud can provide the elasticity to handle variable and one-time workloads without the traditional capital outlays associated with fixed IT assets. It can also provide foundational building blocks for citizen-centric digital services, including payment management, conversational interfaces, and API gateways. Leveraging these cloud-based building blocks helps in enabling you to focus on optimizing your citizen experiences and services.

• Analytics

Data is at the heart of business and policy decisions in government and the datasets being used for these decisions are getting ever larger. The capability to dedicate large amounts of processing, cognitive, and storage capabilities towards on-demand analytics against large datasets is a use case that is tailor-made for the cloud. Furthermore, many emerging cognitive, predictive, and analytic functions are only available in the cloud. Whether you are considering employing advanced analytics and cognitive capabilities or exposing open datasets, the cloud warrants serious consideration.

• Security

Security is a governor-level issue that impacts all of the state’s programs. Understanding the intersection of security and cloud and the rapid advances and changes in cloud security are critical to maintaining a forward-looking and secure technology posture while moving programs to the cloud.The move towards a cloud-based architecture introduces new considerations, both at the technical and policy levels. CIOs and CISOs need to understand how specific controls are implemented in different cloud environments and how, with the appropriate controls, access management, and vulnerability testing, the cloud can be as secure, if not more secure, than traditional on-premise environments.

With all this said, there simply may be no way to keep pace with the technology if cloud isn’t part of the equation.The impacts of cloud adoption are far-reaching, to your people, processes, and technology. It is important to recognize that amid change, cloud creates opportunity to redefine your organization. It can make you more agile, efficient, and secure, and that makes it more than worth it.

To begin your journey to the cloud, you should consider doing a thorough assessment of your cloud strategy and readiness. This initial step can help you build the appropriate business case, catalogue applications, align organizational priorities, and provide you with a guide to map out the rest of your journey. 

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