As I wrote
May post, governments are placing big bets on national cloud strategy. This
month, I want to fill you in on the six things that I think every central
government needs to know about the national cloud.
1. It’s a reality.
It’s not a
myth or fad or marketing term. It’s a new paradigm. Government leaders everywhere—from Europe
to Canada to Australia—are all talking about the national cloud. None of them struggles
with the question of “If.” It’s “How” and “When” that keep them up at night.
It’s time to accept that the cloud is real, get familiar with the fundamentals,
and seize this huge opportunity.
2. It’s different for every country.
national cloud approach will be unique. To choose the best one, start with your
saving money, improving service delivery, or becoming more globally competitive.
then decide which one is your priority. From there, choose the cloud
strategy that achieves the prioritized goal. If you need to save money quickly,
adopt public cloud services now. They’ll free up budget for you to do more
complex work later. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to be more globally
competitive, choose an in-country service provider to develop your local IT workforce
3. It’s not the same as IT outsourcing.
contrary, national cloud is the result of what central governments learned from
the last decade’s IT outsourcing trend. Today, you’re defining specific
services, service levels, security levels, and more—and requiring constant
innovation so you’ll never fall behind again.
4. It pivots on the right first step.
large, long-term project, your national cloud approach must be easy to
understand and quick to garner support. To build credibility for your entire
plan, the first project must succeed. Email-as-a-service is the first step in 70
percent of the projects governments undertake. That’s because it’s easy to
deploy, so it provides a quick return on investment that validates the
5. It’s hybrid by definition.
No central government
can move all of its workloads and IT infrastructure into the public cloud, so
by definition, national cloud requires a hybrid approach—one that makes use of both public and
private storage. Make sure you work only with IT vendors that understand
the complexity of hybrid
clouds and have the vision and commitment to help you through this
6. Without promotion, it will fail.
you have a national cloud doesn’t mean your customers will know about it—or use
it. To succeed, your project must be promoted from the ministerial level and
higher. Before you start, nail down your sponsorship model and communication
options. If possible, implement a procurement mandate that forces agency IT
groups onto your national cloud. And make sure you measure cloud uptake so you
can show the impact of the change to other IT departments.
I urge you
to think about these six things right now, before you get started. Moving to
the national cloud is a strategic transformation—one that takes time, a lot of effort,
and the fortitude of leaders willing to see it through. By following these
guidelines and choosing the right partners, you’ll greatly increase your
chance for success.
Have a comment or opinion on this post? Let me
know @Microsoft_Gov. Or e-mail
us at firstname.lastname@example.org.