Many agencies want cloud computing for their local government operations. Because of the versatility of cloud servers and the way they dovetail with analytics-driven internal processes, many are utilizing this hardware for their business. However, it is not always easy for federal agencies to find the kinds of services that they need. Looking for a provider that is able to give an organization the attention and straightforward contract that is necessary to create a successful business relationship is difficult, and requires as much legal knowledge as it does technical. In order to solve this problem, many federal agencies will have to hunt to find the cloud providers that can give them the tools they need.
A major factor in this problem is the lack of standardization, according to the National Institute Of Science and Technology. Federal agencies that want to utilize cloud computing may have to navigate a dizzying array of complex, seemingly contradictory offers by different cloud service companies. However, there are ways through this problem. Working with cloud providers that have clear goals may help those that are looking for a place to store their information. Even more important, however, is for those agencies to read carefully over contracts related to cloud computing. They need to be able to identify what services will be helpful to them, and what they can safely ignore.
At the same time, it would be a good idea for the cloud industry to – at the very least – work on how their service level agreements are written. Organizing an effective standard for describing how many services will be provided could go a long way toward helping everyone involved to place a bit more trust in cloud computing. It is not just clients that lose from having an unclear marketplace, after all. Many cloud computing companies could have more clients if there was less fear associated with signing up for the cloud. Too many agencies simply don’t know exactly what they’ll be getting, and back away from cloud computing and analytics because of this.
An industry cloud for agencies
One new development that may make it easier for companies to develop a long-term solution for their data is the rise of industry cloud deployments. This is essentially a series of cloud deployments put out by cloud providers that are designed specifically for a certain kind of business. This could even extend to options for federal agencies, allowing for specialized “federal clouds” designed for state tax agencies or similar departments.
These new clouds can be incredibly useful for an agency that knows it needs more firepower for its data, but is unsure of how to get it. By using a variety of these options together, an agency can get the technical backup it needs to work. Because these options are already designed to work together, it is far easier for groups to trust that everything will connect and import data to each other efficiently.
Cloud computing for local government agencies is beginning to enter a golden age of options and usability. There are many ways that different organizations can make use of their cloud in order to get the most from it. However, finding exactly the right way to do so may be difficult. Agencies that are ready to move to cloud computing should take the time they need to get all the pertinent details before they transition. Using these tools, it is likely that agencies will be able to get their work done quickly and easily.