Published January 23, 2023

Why Federal Agencies Continue to Face Cloud Challenges (and How Ocient Can Help)

By Christopher Jakobbson, Account Executive at Ocient

Today’s government agencies are awash in data.

From transportation data of vehicles taxing infrastructure 24/7 to countless cyber threats and network anomalies, to the millions of phone calls, texts, and social media posts all flowing through both private and public networks, the amount of data that needs to be analyzed grows exponentially every day.

Cloud data solutions are one of the simplest and most robust ways to tackle today’s ocean of information. However, according to a FedRAMP Survey conducted in 2021 only 49% of government agencies in the U.S. are utilizing the cloud.

Beyond the most commonplace concerns over security, resiliency and cost,  below are three key factors on why 51% are still lagging in cloud adoption.

Top-down Alignment Structures 

It’s no secret that transferring billions of files, data points, and system nodes takes time and resources. Enterprises can fully commit their time, resources, and in many ways their reputation to mass data migration. Agencies generally don’t have the time or resources to commit to complete cloud integration.

Agency leaders and employees are in office for slightly over four years according to the BLS. With leaders and employees rounding the revolving door of leadership and employment, taking the steps to fully integrate a cloud migration can prove more challenging than forcing an outdated and insecure system to work.

Agility

Migrating to the cloud is largely driven by the desire to increase the efficiency and agility of existing processes. Agencies in the U.S. government are broadly a maze of bureaucracy. Generally due to most agencies’ operational scope. While these processes keep existing programs and data sets in working order, shifting to a new system or style of operations can become a slow and arduous task.

A great real-world example of this is the United States military. Back in 2018 Slate Magazine found that roughly 3% of all pentagon computers were still being run on Windows XP. Concerning cloud data integration and its importance, former director of information systems and cybersecurity research at the U.S. DoD Cynthia Dion-Schwarz said it best:

“Even if you’re paying Microsoft to patch [flaws in the OS], what you don’t have is the benefit of millions or billions of users discovering in real-time flaws and then Microsoft jumping in to patch that.”

No Incentive to Save on Allotted Budgets

Though useage based cloud products  can also cause some unforeseen spending, a common goal of cloud adoption is to reduce costs for enterprises when compared to more traditional infrastructure. And if the U.S. government’s goal was to turn a profit then they would have already adopted cloud solutions. However, U.S. government agencies receive reduced budgets if they do not spend the allotted budget every fiscal year. In turn, there is little incentive to reduce costs for government agencies but instead, do more with what they already receive.

Return to the Pentagon example and the cybersecurity solutions that Ocient provides. Mircosoft ended support for the XP OS in 2014. This left the OS open to any number of exploits and flaws in the security of any network using Windows XP.

The DoD funneled millions of dollars to Mircosoft to keep their legacy products functional but missed a golden opportunity. Within a cloud-based security system, flaws, anomalies, and exploits can be instantly shared across networks to plug any gaps in the firewall and keep sensitive data out of the hands of potential threats while freeing up more funds for other objectives.

The Ocient Solution

These agency challenges are why Ocient is expanding its capabilities and solutions into the public space.

The problem of having a new agency director every five years is solved by Ocient’s 24/7 support team. By offloading go-live functions to a dedicated team, it would be as simple as changing a name on an account profile when new leadership signs on. However, all processes and data systems remain humming along.

Consolidating key data sets to Ocient’s cloud leave agencies with a lot less red tape and costs to factor in. Instead, they can focus on more important goals with faster, more efficient data to utilize.

By using a cloud-based security solution, the millions of dollars the DoD was giving to Mircosoft could instead be used to upgrade current systems and have increased access to mass data to bolster security features.

Whether or not it’s a private enterprise or a public government agency, mass data needs the vast capabilities of various cloud-based solutions. Request a demo today and let Ocient pilot the next-generation data analytics solutions and do more with your data.

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