Part two of a seven blog series on cloud computing for public sector.
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.
First is the issue of security, and the myth within local jurisdictions that the cloud is just not secure enough for their data. To debunk that myth, think of these examples of how you are already using the cloud in your everyday life:
Cloud-based computing gives you best-in-class, data center security systems at a level no local government jurisdiction can afford. All production data is stored immediately to redundant locations. “Hot backups” give the ability to restore your data rapidly and reliably. Extensive disaster recovery documents ensure crisis management is handled promptly and without fanfare. The private sector learned long ago that their data was more secure in the cloud and that the cost of that security was much less with a cloud-based software vendor.
Another concern in the public sector is the lack of need for IT support of cloud-based systems and that this could cost IT professionals their jobs. In reality, the cloud frees time for the IT staff so they can focus on other important services, like making sure their jurisdiction’s internet connectivity is excellent. They no longer have to worry about keeping on-premise hardware operational, especially when using serversthat crash during spikes in use. The private sector has successfully evolved their IT teams to focus on innovative technologies, superb internet connectivity and remote user support.
Use of cloud technology has not only changed the focus of IT professionals in the private sector, but has also enabled system end users to move into the realm of promoting thought-leadership. Cloud-based software is easy to use, flexible and customizable which affords time to everyone in every role using the system to focus on being strategic change agents for their organizations. This approach has the ability within the public sector to provide the best possible services to their constituents and save tax dollars while doing so. The key here is to invest in people, not infrastructure.
Government jurisdictions still tend to purchase software in “silos” which eliminates their ability to collaborate across departments and with their constituents. Imagine a private sector company, such as a “big box” retailer, implementing a system for just one department that was impossible to integrate with any other business system! It just doesn’t happen anymore and the public sector must realize that collaboration is absolutely critical to being able to work efficiently, transparently and accurately with all stakeholders.
How often to you hear citizens of your jurisdiction say, “I wish I could do this online” or “Do I really have to visit your office to get this done?” What they mean by “this” covers every possible transaction they may need to execute with any of your departments. The public’s technology sophistication grows every day and they expect these services from their local governments to be just as easy and secure as their online banking and shopping. With the right true-cloud software, local government jurisdictions can provide easy access to the public to conduct business seamlessly online.
Next week’s blog:
It takes a lot of power to escape the Earth’s atmosphere, and that’s exactly what cloud computing can give your jurisdiction — the power to increase the level of service to your constituents astronomically! So, what’s holding you down?