7 Steps to Getting Your Head in the Cloud: Step 1

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Part one of a seven blog series on cloud computing for local government.

True cloud-based software solutions are exactly where your technology strategy should be headed. For local government jurisdictions, the benefits are just too great to bury your head in the sand. So, how do you launch your IT strategy into the stratosphere rather than keeping it grounded in the quagmire of outdated technology? With apologies to the great astronaut, Neil Armstrong, here is a seven week blog series with the seven small steps your jurisdiction can take today to make one giant leap for your constituents.

Step 1: The True Cloud is NOT Fake and Neither Was the Moon Landing

Let’s get one thing straight right off the launch pad. The cloud is a principle; not a software version.

The image on this blog post is now one of the most famous in history. As earthlings, we finally got to see what our planet Earth looks like from space. It was a paradigm and prompted many new ideas, technologies and passions. It was a new landscape of possibilities. And that’s exactly how we should think about cloud-based technology.

Long accepted in the private sector, as we’ll discuss in the next section, the list of benefits gained by utilizing the cloud for your local government ERP system could reach to the moon and back. Well, maybe not quite, but the simple fact is that you can better serve the citizens in your jurisdiction from the cloud. And do it with fewer headaches and sleepless nights.

The Benefits of TRUE-Cloud Computing

1. Everybody Using the Software is Using the Same, Latest Version

Known as “multi-tenancy,” this may be the most important feature of a true-cloud solution. Updates are communicated far in advance and occur at night or on the weekend without interrupting your daily functions. Product upgrades are fast, regular and at no additional cost. There are no compatibility issues nor hidden fees.

2. You Can Trust the Cloud

The state-of-the-art security and technical resources provided by cloud data centers are at a level no local jurisdiction can afford. Even the basic process of backing up data is more affordable in the cloud and gives you data redundancy for recovery purposes. These security costs are spread across a number of cloud customers.

3. You Don’t Have to Download Any Software to Your Computer

All you need is an internet connection and you can use any browser you prefer. Gone are the days of tedious, problematic and time-consuming software upgrades that often came with significant service fees from on-premise software vendors. Now your IT team only needs to focus on ensuring you have strong, consistent internet access.

4. Get Access Anywhere at Any Time on Any Device

Because the software is accessed via the internet, you can work 24/7/365 – not that anyone would want to, but you could! Instant access from anywhere guarantees that there are no barriers standing in the way of your talented team completing their work. Data can be securely accessed on the go which helps you serve your jurisdictions better.

5. Gain a 360° View of Your Jurisdiction

True-cloud solutions can be easily integrated with other systems, whether those systems are cloud based or not. Integrations can be easily customized, eliminating the need to hire expensive consultants every time you want to make a change to your application. This benefit gives you access to all critical information from just one system.

6. Low TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)

The total cost of ownership is lower for true-cloud solutions because they will always require fewer resources. The multi-tenancy approach shares the common aspects of the software while only costing you for any additions necessary and specific to your needs. The evolution of cloud technology has enabled scalable, cost-efficient solutions.

7. You Can Still Make a True-Cloud System Your Own

The flexibility to service your own application allows you to manage, maintain, configure it immediately. This provides crucial advantages, including the ability to customize the application to fit unique business needs and upgrade easily. Today’s world demands this kind of flexibility that only agile, true-cloud vendors can support.

Next week’s blog:

Step 2: To Boldly Go Where the Private Sector Has Gone Before AND Arrived Safely

Cloud computing has long been the accepted and preferable platform for private sector companies. Why is it not the same for the public sector? Why do local government jurisdictions seem to shy away from the benefits of using cloud-based software? Let’s try to answer those questions.

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