From pandemic relief bills to the cybersecurity executive order and the bipartisan infrastructure bill, Federal agencies have a wealth of mandates and opportunities to create new programs.
While each of these executive and legislative actions feature varying priorities, funding methods, and delivery objectives, in a larger sense they are unified by requiring Federal agencies to leverage advanced technologies like big data analytics, artificial intelligence, edge computing, and enhanced cybersecurity frameworks.
To meet these goals and ongoing program needs, agencies should consider increased investments in hybrid cloud technologies. Hybrid cloud infrastructure can provide the computing power, scalability, and security that on-prem or single cloud environments traditionally lack.
Where Hybrid Cloud Can Provide Value
Let’s look more at each piece of legislation and mandate to see how hybrid cloud improves traditional systems.
- The Infrastructure Bill: The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill was signed in November of 2021 and features funding for public sector cybersecurity enhancements, broadband access, and electronic vehicle expansion. Outside of the direct impact of improving technology infrastructure, agencies need to ensure they have the technological capability to administer properly the countless programs outlined in the new law.
- The American Rescue Plan: Passed in January of 2021, the American Rescue Plan was most known for providing many Americans with stimulus payments. As with the Infrastructure Bill, this plan increased the need of Federal agencies to act quickly and provide a wealth of new and enhanced services to citizens in need, which put stress on outdated technology systems. However, the bill also created several short and long-term programs aimed at helping citizens, businesses, and schools return to everyday life.
- The Cybersecurity Executive Order: The order calls for removing barriers to threat information sharing between government and the private sector and modernizing and implementing more robust cybersecurity standards in the federal government. Leveraging a hybrid cloud will allow for solid cybersecurity analytics and create a more modular architecture that can be harder to attack.
Pushing Further Toward Hybrid
The COVID-19 pandemic began to push Federal agencies toward hybrid cloud, and moved technology leaders closer to that idea. With more employees working remotely, agencies needed the power hybrid cloud platforms to allow remote employees to access applications.
While traditional cloud architectures offer the capability to scale, many agencies have created siloed cloud environments. Instead of having an application on an individual on-prem rack, as before, they now follow the same practice with the cloud. This goes against the ingrained benefits of a cloud model, something technology leaders understand.
In speaking with Federal customers, many have voiced how the pandemic amplified the importance of migrating to hybrid cloud – some even made the move before they originally planned. However, sometimes they moved too fast without proper planning.
What Agencies Need to Know About Hybrid
Faced with this increase in Federal mandates and programs, agencies need to ensure the proper technology infrastructure is in place to operate them. This means a hybrid cloud infrastructure with a flexible architecture that allows for more modular use.
For technology leaders, a switch to hybrid and how to better leverage cloud requires a culture shift. Agencies must move beyond the idea of siloed applications – even in the cloud – and utilize a hybrid structure that allows for better scaling, quicker time to action, and more adaptability for new applications.
Too often, agencies attempt to put a round peg in a square hole when it comes to applications. They need to look at hybrid methodologies – even if it means having a hybrid architecture for 20 percent, 30 percent, or 50 percent of the overall infrastructure. Simply taking steps in this direction can have a dramatic impact on the ability to take advantage of new and emerging Federal initiatives.