7 cloud computing opportunities for public sector

Despite the challenges, cloud computing still offers opportunities for public sector organizations to enhance their operations. If your agency can think beyond the technology itself to the people and processes that will manage it, you’ll see cloud success.

1. Leverage a shared responsibility model

Cloud service providers use a shared responsibility model that defines which infrastructure responsibilities they own and which they leave to individual organizations. 

These models can help you allocate resources more effectively. For example, if you aren’t responsible for managing the cloud’s software or hardware, you can dedicate more technologists to critical areas like cybersecurity.

Just make sure you fully understand the shared responsibility model and what you and your cloud workers are responsible for.

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2. Improve regulatory compliance

Agencies often think of compliance as a barrier to successful cloud adoption. But it’s also a massive opportunity. 

Compliance frameworks help government agencies ensure their environments comply with the latest restrictions and regulations. In the case of the cloud, you can look at a cloud provider’s compliance documentation to determine if their services are authorized under a certain framework. If they are, you know their services have been vetted and comply with critical requirements.

Check potential cloud providers for compliance with frameworks such as:

  • FedRAMP

  • StateRAMP

  • Cloud One and Platform One

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3. Implement continuous Authority to Operate (cATO)

The traditional authorization process for new systems follows a series of linear steps: Public sector organizations will develop a system and assess its security. They’ll authorize it. Then they’ll use it.

While this method provides an extensive assessment of a system’s vulnerabilities, it’s also time-consuming. By the time the authorization is complete, the system may already be out of date.

Continuous Authority to Operate (cATO) provides a more nimble approach. cATO continuously authorizes underlying cloud infrastructure, systems, and platforms. This enables agencies to focus on capability and code delivery, rather than constantly building and authorizing new platforms and infrastructure.

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4. Enable remote work

The COVID-19 pandemic forced government agencies to shift to remote or hybrid work—and move some operations to the cloud as a result. Now, more than 90% of employees across industries prefer hybrid work arrangements. The bottom line: Telework and cloud computing are here to stay. While it may take some time to adjust, remote work widens your talent pool and provides potential cost savings (like cost-of-living adjustments to salaries).

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5. Close the cloud skills gap through upskilling

Only half of technologists have extensive experience working in the cloud. If you’re struggling to recruit the cloud workers you need, try developing your existing workforce instead.

You can start off with free learning resources like webinars, live streams, blogs, and ebooks. When your technologists (or budding technologists) are ready for more advanced skills, you can turn to resources like on-demand courses, instructor-led training, and customized labs and sandboxes.

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