IT budgets have been slashed even as service expectations have skyrocketed.
Citizens now expect access to all services all the time, leading many
governments ever closer to a national cloud deployment. But like any new
initiative, a national cloud needs to show a return on investment, and fast.
Here are three best practices to make it happen.
1. Implement the most impactful workloads
last 10 to 15 years, governments have consolidated many basic IT services. And
just in the last three years, we’re seeing a trend toward further consolidation—this
time into the national cloud where it’s easy to get economies of scale,
optimize costs, and calculate ROI.
To get on
board, first consolidate services that are taken for granted as part of
everyday business, such as email, messaging, and collaboration. Whether you’re
in an emerging country that’s modernizing IT or a mature country that’s
standardizing services with in-country providers, consolidating these basic
workloads first makes you more efficient—and gives you the fastest return
on your investment.
2. Buy existing functionality instead of
rather than building the functionality you need reduces time and costs while
accelerating ROI. For example, today you can cover your communications needs
with off-the-shelf products while also getting advanced email, messaging, and
collaboration capabilities—including archiving, auditing, and
custom forms. It’s more affordable than you might imagine. Everyone in IT agrees
that “free” is never free, and we often grossly underestimate the cost of
supporting, updating, changing, fixing, upgrading, migrating, and managing free
solutions. Instead, you should concentrate on freeing your limited IT resources
from managing and maintaining packaged software, enabling them to focus on the
more strategic goal of better government service delivery through technology.
3. Choose the fastest implementation
described in a previous post, there are three
approaches to national cloud strategy. The pace of ROI differs based on
which approach you take.
ROI is found in the public cloud because the service is there, the
infrastructure is done, and the economies of scale can’t be matched.
Implementing your national cloud this way is just a matter of subscribing and
on-boarding your people.
approach is having a dedicated, in-country hoster to help you design and
implement the solution. This is relatively quick because these partners have
the skills, experience, and resources you need. Just be aware, the more you ask for custom
features, the faster you increase your total cost of ownership (TCO).
implementation strategy is to host your national cloud yourself. Because you
may procure IT help as needed, there may not be a lot of ready resources
in-house. Outsourced help will have to come up to speed and acquire skills. You
also may not have the physical resources (such as data centers) that you’ll
need. All of this takes time.
these three practices will help you get your national cloud to market faster—with
faster user adoption and employee training—for an overall faster return on
your investment. Citizens will get what they need and want, and you’ll be creating
the foundation for a more streamlined government that makes your limited budget
Have a comment or opinion on this post? Let me know @Microsoft_Gov. Or e-mail us at email@example.com.