Government bodies often develop a reputation for being slow to embrace new technology. This notion isn't entirely unjustified – governments are naturally reluctant to take on risk, and their bureaucratic nature poses an obstacle to broad adoption.
Consequently, state governments were not among the first organizations to embrace cloud services. But they're rapidly working to make up for lost time. Across the country, state agency leaders now realize that cloud solutions can yield tremendous benefits for their departments and personnel, and are therefore have already adopted or are in the process of deploying the technology.
However, there are some problems in this area. Among the most significant, as The Brookings Institution's Kevin Desouza and Gregory Dawson recently highlighted, is the fact that many of these state governments lack cloud governance strategies. As a result, they may be putting themselves at risk as they move forward with their cloud adoption plans.
Governments without governance
The writers explained that while a few state governments still lag behind, the vast majority are now actively pursuing cloud solutions. For the most part, these plans appear "thoughtful and balanced," which helps to ensure a smooth, problem-free adoption process. Most notably, the examination determined that state government's appreciate the importancecloud security as they move forward toward broader cloud computing adoption.
Yet as Desourza and Dawson discovered, this concern over cloud security has not translated into broader efforts to address cloud governance. In fact, only the state of George explicitly linked security and governance in its cloud computing strategy.
"[S]trong security programs start with strong governance," the Georgia Technology Authority declares.
The writers pointed out that a few other states, including New York, Massachusetts and North Carolina, also address IT governance with due seriousness. However, the remaining states largely seemed to ignore or downplay the importance of cloud governance.
This is a serious problem. Whether state governments acknowledge the connection or not, the fact of the matter is that it is impossible to ensure the security of a cloud environment without also addressing the issue of governance.
That is why state governments, and public sector organizations in general, should seek out third-party assistance to develop robust, comprehensive cloud governance strategies. By partnering with a firm like Datapipe, agencies gain access to the experience and resources needed to implement plans that incorporate cloud analytics, optimization and a variety of other components necessary for a reliable, future-proof approach to cloud computing.