Why you may not be getting the most out of the hybrid cloud

A successful hybrid cloud gives agencies the flexibility to change quickly how their data is stored.

The benefits of cloud computing are no secret to the federal government -- to the contrary, they’re extremely well documented. Beginning in 2011 with then-federal CIO Vivek Kundra’s ‘CloudFirst’ initiative, the government has taken significant steps toward unlocking the primary benefits of the cloud: lowered cost, agility, increased shared services between agencies and efficiency of service for both internal stakeholders and public citizens.

Since that time, however, agencies have faced one major obstacle that calls into question the worth of these benefits: data security.

Take, for example, the 2015 breach of Office of Personnel Management databases that affected an estimated 21.5 million federal employees and applicants, an attack thought to have originated from hackers in China or Russia. As a result, attacks like these have become top-of-mind for agency leaders. Add to that the of threat of insider attacks and poor security practices by government employees, which (according to an October 2015 Ponemon survey of federal IT workers) is the perceived No. 1  threat facing the federal government. Agencies have plenty to worry about when it comes to the safety of their data.

Lately, however, a model of cloud computing has emerged that combines the cost, efficiency and collaborative gains of the cloud with the security and regulatory compliance benefits of an on-premise firewall -- a solution known as the hybrid cloud.

Chad Sheridan, CIO of the Agriculture Department’s Risk Management Agency, implemented a hybrid cloud business process management solution to improve agility and transparency in how his agency delivers and administers crop insurance. With the hybrid model as his deployment platform, Sheridan and his team built what is now called Escrow 2.0, a custom application that accelerated the process by which farmers received payment for insurance claims from 30 days (or more) to a guaranteed three days.

But while hybrid cloud is absolutely the direction government often must follow in order to succeed today, it is not a truly future-proofed solution on its own. Regulations will change; how agencies want or need to allocate application components across environments will change. The majority of today’s cloud environments -- at least, the proprietary ones -- will not be up to the challenge.

Many vendors offering their tools and platforms in hybrid cloud (and full cloud) models insist on a proprietary cloud architecture (whether public or private). That means clients are locked into one configuration, losing real ownership of any data that lives in the cloud.

This becomes a major issue for government agencies. Operating in a proprietary cloud environment -- even used in tandem with an on-premise server – limits an agency’s choices as to where its data lives. Once data moves to a vendor’s proprietary cloud, it is extremely difficult to get it back out; the process often requires building a whole new application to access it another way. This model simply does not work in a world full of constant regulatory and compliance evolution. While one day the environment might be the perfect fit for the agency, the next it could be obsolete.

The key to the successful implementation of a hybrid cloud model is choosing a vendor that gives agencies the flexibility to change quickly and at any time where and how their data is stored. This requires pairing an on-premise firewall with any cloud environment -- whether it is an in-house or commercial private cloud, a public cloud or any combination thereof. Applications and all of their components must be portable across environments and configurations. The bottom line: Agencies must be able to access and harness application logic and data wherever, whenever and however they want.

Hybrid cloud models provide the best of both worlds, so long as agencies have the freedom to access their data at any given time. Getting locked into a proprietary solution can completely erase the cost and efficiency benefits that the cloud offers in the first place. By partnering with providers that can accommodate the needs of the organization, agencies can build hybrid clouds that really flex their muscles.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.