Cloud Computing Checklist for Local Government CIOs

Written by Ben Sebree

Before you migrate your citizen and civic data to the cloud, understand the value the cloud can offer your IT infrastructure.
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The future of secure local government IT infrastructure is in the cloud. While this news is not a surprise to IT professionals, you may not be ready to make the migration from your on-site servers to an intangible, still relatively revolutionary, cloud storage model. Local governments are under extreme pressure to keep user data secure—and maybe more. If you’re hesitant to make the move from your physical network infrastructure to the cloud, know that there are significant benefits of cloud storage, such as greater security and less threat of damage to hardware from natural or local disasters. Also know, however, that there are certain aspects of your network infrastructure that should not be cloud-bound. Understanding these benefits and limitations, you will need to put a transition plan in place that will minimize risk and maximize reward. What follows is a summary of the benefits of cloud computing and a list of dos and do nots, specifically for local government IT.

The Benefits of Cloud Computing

  • Cost-Savings. At a time when local governments are expected to do more with fewer financial and human resources, your budget may not support new IT hardware and infrastructure. The cloud offers a more cost-effective solution to data storage and system upgrades.
  • Utility Pricing. The cloud offers a more financially scalable solution as the needs of your community change.
  • 24/7/365 Monitoring. At a time when local governments are under constant threat of cyber attack, they need the support of a service that offers around-the-clock monitoring—a service that can not often be accomplished in-house with aging hardware and software, and limited resources. Cloud hosting solutions also typically provide more robust disaster recovery solutions and minimized downtime of critical applications.

Cloud Computing Transition Checklist

Before you make the move to the cloud, review the following dos and do nots.

Do

  • Make sure you and your staff have the time and resources available to dedicate to a transition project, on top of routine operational responsibilities. One you begin a migration process, it will not help your operations or your budget to drag out the transition process at the risk of data redundancy or inaccessibility.
  • Determine which enterprise software solutions you can virtualize, such as your human resource information system (HRIS) or website headless content management system (HCMS). Then, assess how all your vital software stack components can be integrated with one another, and how a move to a cloud computing IT model may impact those integration points.
  • Verify that your network has enough bandwidth for your staff to access cloud services efficiently. This assessment must include a validation that your hardware is also up to task.
  • Assess the number of servers you use today and discuss with your hosting solution how best to virtualize them. Your cloud hosting provider should be able to help you minimize your virtual footprint without compromising on speed or data security.

Do Not

  • Do not plan to store the following data types in the cloud without a thorough assessment of your business operations, security risks, speed, and integration requirements:
    • Internal files that need to be easily accessible by staff.
    • Windows authentication capabilities.
    • Printing software.

 Rely on a Single Cloud-Based Platform to Unite Your Software Stack

The success of your cloud computing transition plan will be reliant upon the selection of a cloud-based digital repository that can securely house your civic and citizen data and integrate your vital software stack components. Click below to learn more about the power and security of the integrated CivicPlus Platform available from CivicPlus®.

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