PCS outlines cloud transition roadmap

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PSC outlines cloud transition roadmap

What: “Best Practices for Federal Agency Adoption of Commercial Cloud Solutions,” a report by the Professional Services Council that .identifies proven best practices to help government agencies successfully migrate to commercial cloud solutions.

Why: In today’s challenging financial times, senior government leaders demand both greater innovation and reduced costs from their IT staffs. Smart consumption-based cloud services allow federal agencies to scale up to meet new demands, reduce consumption and address changes in budgets and programs. This report acts as a guide for federal agencies along the way to choosing a cloud provider.

Findings: The report outlines six best practices to adopting the right cloud solution, beginning with a high-level strategy that focuses on objectives, outcomes and a clear understanding of how the solution fits into agency priorities and architectures.

The second step is a requirements assessment, including level of security and anticipated information sharing, that will help inform decisions about the right cloud delivery platform -- public, community, private or a hybrid environment -- and approach to network connectivity.

The third best practice involves maximizing the value of consumption-based buying. A statement of objectives will help an agency articulate its needs, streamline the acquisition process, shorten acquisition lead time and provide greater flexibility in selecting the most advantageous solution. Often a managed-service, performance-based contract is the best way for an agency to ensure its industry partner can bring new technologies, tools and ideas to the table quickly.

When launching a cloud initiative, the report urges federal agencies to first involve stakeholders, then start small and build as experience and expertise with the cloud grows.

Agencies should also ensure their cloud service providers have documented operating procedures as well as the clear ability to provide comprehensive services including monitoring, security and remediation.

Finally, to give readers an idea of what the transition to a cloud operation entails, the report includes 14 real-world case studies highlighting successful cloud adoptions.

Takeaway: When agencies are looking for a cloud operation that best suits their needs, they should develop a managed services approach, consumption-based model of acquisition, focus on delivering outcomes, not systems, use the flexibilities in the Federal Acquisition Regulation and recognize the value of partnering with industry.

Read the full report here.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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