In recent years, a growing number of Australian public sector organisations are focusing on transforming government services and operations to improve efficiency and quality.
With new government initiatives, data policies, and restrictive budgets, government IT decision-makers are under immense pressure to move to the public cloud. Not only that, relentless change in the sector and increasing pressures to migrate to cloud infrastructure, can actually add complexity, rather than simplify.
With proper management, it is possible to mitigate or at least reduce the challenges of migrating and using the cloud. Whether your public agency is just getting started with the cloud or knee-deep into a multi-cloud setup, here are essential tips in successfully managing the cloud:
1. Know Your Options
Having a sound cloud management strategy starts with knowledge of cloud computing options available for your organisation. You must do a thorough analysis of what solution is the best fit for your organisation’s needs today and in the future.
Basically, there are three types of cloud services:
- Public Cloud
This is a cloud environment created from IT infrastructure not owned by the end-user. Some of the best cloud services in Australia include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and IBM Cloud.
- Private Cloud
This is a cloud environment solely dedicated to a single end-user where it runs behind that user’s firewall. Any cloud becomes a private cloud if the underlying infrastructure is dedicated to a single customer with completely isolated access.
- Hybrid Cloud
Offering the best of both worlds, a hybrid cloud uses on-premise, co-located, private, and public cloud environments in a mix that best fits an organisation’s needs. With this type, organisations can keep sensitive data on-premise and deploy resources in a public cloud when you require computing power.
2. Solidify Your Migration Strategy
For public organisations just starting their cloud journey, migration is the key component of an overall cloud strategy. With the public sector, there’s a great expectation to accomplish so much with the strict regulatory requirements but having tight budgets.
With that said, you want to consider which workloads and applications should be moved to the cloud. You need to consider whether they’re critical in terms of the operating costs or essential for aligning to the overall mission of the agency.
Workloads or applications that don’t fall into these categories should be considered low priority for migration. When migrating, you have several options like a partial or full refractor, lift and shift, and implementing PaaS or SaaS. Some cloud providers also offer the necessary tools needed for quick and easy migration to the cloud.
For instance, AWS has several migration tools that help simplify each step of the migration process while reducing the complexity and effort needed.
3. Maximise Your Resources
Understanding usage and optimising expenses are crucial to achieving successful cloud management for public sectors. Because of the variability of cloud costs, budget planning has become a top priority. Public sector leaders feel constant pressure to do more with less while tracking and accounting for expenditures related to disparate projects, accounts, services, and more.
In order to eliminate waste, reduce cloud operational costs and maximise your resources. Government agencies and public sector organisations need to constantly optimise their infrastructure. This can take several forms, including rightsizing assets, decommissioning unused or idle infrastructure, and identifying opportunities for pricing discounts provided by cloud service providers.
Managing finite resources and implementing cloud management used to be a manual process that’s time-consuming. Organisations using the manual analytic models across thousands of resources often find it hard to rightsize their environment. This only worsens as they increase the use of cloud services or adopt a multi-cloud strategy.
In this case, a cloud management platform can help in reducing management overhead. It identifies optimisation opportunities while also suggesting discounts for maximising ROI and budget.
4. Establish Security Measures
Security should always be a top priority of public sectors when managing any kind of cloud infrastructure. Cloud security starts by exercising control over who has access to data and resources. Implementing extra security measures such as comprehensive detection and response and single-sign-on technology is critical.
The benefit of using a hybrid or public cloud provider like AWS is they’ll be able to handle most aspects of physical security. Still, additional measures such as password protection and encryption should be taken to protect data in motion or at rest.
If a public organisation is opting for a hybrid or public cloud, this is where choosing the right cloud service provider makes all the difference.
By adopting the public cloud, the Australian government and other public sector organisations can increase their operational efficiencies, boost agility and speed, reduce IT expenses, and improve the effectiveness of their services.
Although moving to the cloud has its challenges, by following the above tips, organisations won’t have to hesitate to migrate to the cloud and take advantage of its numerous benefits.