Joe Augustine, President & CEO
It is no news that the cloud computing paradigm has revolutionized businesses across industries, delivering hosted services over the Internet—saving cost and driving innovation. Until now, it was only the private sector that made the most out of cloud technology’s myriad benefits, but it seems that the storm has finally hit the public sector. However slow or reluctant they were at the beginning, the government sector has finally understood the economic, flexible, and convenient nature of the cloud, using it to deliver services more efficiently and achieve cost savings. Gartner foresees double-digit growth in government use of public cloud services, with average spending of 17.1 percent per year through 2021. However, even though cloud computing offers many advantages to the public sector, organizations face many barriers to their adoption. Topping the list are issues on security, migration, integration of new technologies, and the reliability of cloud vendors; all of which play an essential role in this arena. “Born in the cloud, Ravyn Systems is a cloud migration, adoption, and cloud transformation expert,” says Joe Augustine, the President and CEO of Ravyn Systems. He continues, “We design, build, and deploy highly secure, cost-effective, fault-tolerant, and scalable solutions for our government and commercial clients.”
On a mission to fuse intelligence and cloud innovation through thought leaders to drive cutting-edge solutions, Ravyn Systems, a service-disabled, veteran-owned and operated IT consulting firm, offers public and private cloud computing, providing agile cloud consulting, adoption, migration, and transformation services. With over 15 years of IT experience in the federal government and commercial sector, the firm helps clients gain immediate exposure to their global market while focusing on the speed of innovation, agility and accelerating their time to realize their business value.
Cloud Technology— In The Eyes of Government Entities
Before Ravyn Systems, Augustine worked with enterprises within the public sector for nearly two decades. He witnessed first-hand that these entities largely adopted and depended on legacy systems, and that most of them were highly reluctant to move to the cloud computing paradigm. Even if they wanted to migrate to the cloud, agencies struggled to identify the workload and applications that could be moved considering that their working environment was quite behind its time. “The government takes time to implement new solutions. Many of them often require reengineering new business processes, re-architecting how these systems are built, and updating code that hasn’t been touched for decades. So, moving away from a legacy environment into the cloud is a huge task,” says Augustine.
"We design, build, and deploy highly secure, cost-effective, fault-tolerant, and scalable solutions for our government and commercial clients"
As the applications used in these agencies’ infrastructure are out-dated, there are several instances where systems cannot be moved to the cloud or would not work once they are shifted. In essence, “re-platforming” the entire environment, “re-purchasing,” or “re-factoring/re-architecting” applications are also hurdles faced by the public sector.
Another challenge that the public sectors face is the lack of security of the cloud. Unlike on-prem technologies, a cloud infrastructure cannot be entirely independent as it requires them to rely on vendors to address security concerns. Considering the amount of vital data that’s at stake, governments shy away from cloud technology as they think it might not be “safe enough.”
Lastly and probably the most common issue enterprises face is concerning migration—most enterprises do not understand the dynamics of cloud technology; especially around storage and its dependency issue.
We are here to help! We employ industry best practices, coupled with industry experts to deliver cloud Migration, Innovation, Adoption, and Transformation services
Firms struggle to decide between moving their entire storage to the cloud and putting a hybrid solution in place.
So, what do these companies do to overcome these issues?
“We are here to help! We employ industry best practices, coupled with industry experts to deliver cloud Migration, Innovation, Adoption, and Transformation services,” says Augustine.
Ravyn’s Unique Approach—6 R’s
Apart from being the CEO and President of Ravyn Systems, Augustine wears several hats within his organization to help his clients move seamlessly to the cloud. He and his team do so by “Employing migration strategies best practices: The six common application migration approaches “The 6 R’s” to accelerate the migration process.” The process begins with discovery wherein team Ravyn conducts a migration readiness assessment, which provides a broader look at the clients’ current IT environment and inventory. The evaluation offers clarity on the infrastructure based on the “6 R’s” that helps the company understand challenges their clients are facing while moving their workload into the cloud. They identify the applications that can be easily moved to the cloud: “Rehost,” systems that require modifications to be hosted in the cloud: “Re-platform,” applications that need to be replaced entirely: “Repurchase,” apps that need to be re-architected : “Refactor,” systems and applications that aren’t ready to be migrated : “Retain,” and systems that have no purpose at all : “Retire.” This process not only gives an idea on the issues within their client’s infrastructure, but it also provides team Ravyn with a clear picture of what needs to be done.
After the assessments, Ravyn Systems leverages its vast cloud vendor network and works closely with its clients to design and implement an end-to-end solution to help move their workload to the cloud. The transformation and migration process walks through three significant steps: Validation, Transition, and Production. In other words, Ravyn Systems begins with piloting and testing, and then, start using their clients “Migration Factory” to move workloads, and lastly, scale the solution in an “agile” manner while lowering its operating cost. In one instance, Ravyn Systems had to replace one of their client’s entire environment and build them a new one from scratch. Within a year, the client was able to grow and scale at a rapid pace while saving unnecessary costs and increasing their ROI.
“Our approach is built on years of experience and industry best practices. It helps lower our client’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) while deploying cost-effective, highly secure, highly scalable, and fault-tolerant cloud solutions,” asserts Augustine.
Successful Migrations via Collaboration, Automation, and Innovation
Ravyn Systems’ approach to cloud adoption and migration does not end with its unique methodology.
The company thrives on and encourages collaboration, automation, and innovation within their organization and their clients’ to successfully build and implement a robust solution aimed at reducing TOC and maximizing return on investment (ROI.)
“We have folks who are passionate about what they do. I often tell my clients that if they can build a team with passionate people who can align themselves with the goal of the company, then success is just a matter of time,” says Augustine.
Housing a team of IT specialists who understand the nuances of how governments function, Ravyn Systems works in close liaison with customers to understand their requirements and deliver a solution accordingly. They bring in the sense of collaboration not just between themselves and their clients, but also the siloed teams within that entity. By bringing different verticals in the customers’ firms together and working with them as one single unit, team Ravyn identifies the processes that can be automated without causing any harm to the organization. Their philosophy is relatively simple—collaboration drives innovation. Augustine further elaborates, “When you find a great team that collaborates, understands the ups and downs, keeps a keen eye on critical aspects of applications, and tries to automate it, you can easily streamline business processes and practices, improve performance, and drive growth.” He explains that his company’s success over the years does not just rely on their robust services, it is because they build solutions by combining experience, best practices, and most importantly, they learn from every project to make the next one better.
Security: An Increasing Concern
As the public sector is relatively new to adopting automation and cloud technology, their concerns regarding security are increasing by the day. Even though there are many cloud vendors offering solutions with unmatchable capabilities to secure data, government entities still struggle to rely on these new-age tools in the way they did for legacy systems. To address this issue, Ravyn Systems always builds solutions by combining industry best practices, customer-centric migration strategies, and high-availability capabilities with the embedded security features offered by the cloud provider.
“Our solution not only provides protection against cybersecurity attacks and other disasters, but also during system failures,” says Augustine. The firm ensures that in its key design principles, applications automatically recover from failures. If an application is not working or is compromised, team Ravyn’s efficient and fault tolerant design provides automatic notification, track failures, and provides automated recovery that will repair or work around the failures. It can automatically isolate itself or can even change its location without any human intervention, making sure that clients have to never again worry about security.
The Sky is the Limit
Since conception, Ravyn Systems has worked toward its mission and has been able to leave an ever-lasting impression on the public sector successfully. The firm envisions being a part of the General Services Administration, which allows them to gain more contracts, work with several other government clients, and help them be a part of the cloud computing paradigm. “We will eventually offer managed services as well so that we can completely support the solutions that we design and implement,” concludes Augustine.