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Planning Your Journey To The Cloud: What Government Agencies Need To Keep In Mind

DLT Solutions says the public sector has to be on top of data management and have a clear mission in mind when transitioning to the cloud.

DLT Solutions representatives say public sector entities must have a plan in place for enabling and managing their data as well as a key mission in mind as government agencies look to transition to the cloud.

Brian Strosser, executive vice president of sales for the Herndon, Va.-based company, said his business is approaching $1 billion in bookings with clients who are all in the public sector. David Blankenhorn, DLT’s vice president of engineering and chief cloud technologist, noted those who haven’t transitioned to the cloud yet are looking to make the move and eager to learn more.

’Some agencies like Health and Human Services or NASA -- who are, in my mind, kind of frontrunners when it comes to adoption of cloud technology -- they’re really leading the charge in terms of adoption,’ Blankenhorn said. ’Others are more cautious, a little more sensitive to their workloads or the data they work with.’

[RELATED: DLT Solutions Announces New Procurement Tool For Government Clients]

Blankenhorn said back in 2011, there was a shift of private groups moving to the cloud and now government groups at the local, state and federal levels, are looking to make the transition. He noted it’s a ’mixed bag’ for those who have trepidations toward adopting the new technology.

’First, there was the, ’How do we protect information, how do we get through the accreditation process and how do we protect data we’re putting in to this cloud?’’ he said. ’That conversation hasn’t dwindled much, but the conversation in the last nine months has gone more toward procurement.’

DLT last month hosted a webinar with one of their vendors, Informatica, intended to highlight ways government agents could use the Braintree, Mass.-based company’s systems to organize their data in the cloud. Blankenhorn said this is a key focus for public sector groups looking to move forward.

’The data management is a piece of it. The second is … data gravity,’ he said. ’It means the more data you acquire, the more you collect. You end up putting that in large storage systems. The problem you run into is, if you get into situations with customers with hundreds of terabytes of data, it becomes harder to move that.’

Bobby Caudill, Informatica’s director of industry marketing for the U.S. public sector, touted in his presentation the benefit of using pre-built templates to manage data in the cloud through his company’s data integration software. DLT Solutions offers this to its clients, along with many kinds of private and public clouds, including Amazon Web Services, Google and Oracle.

Blankenhorn said if customers are looking to go to the cloud, they must first identify what their mission is. He identified this as one of the key steps in planning a transition as a government entity at the local, state or federal level.

’I cringe when I hear someone walk in and say, ’My boss told me to move stuff to the cloud,’ because it comes back to requirements,’ he explained. ’My first recommendation is to always go back to the requirements. First, what is it you’re looking to acquire and what is your mission? Then, what services do you want to provide?’

NEXT: Where Cloud Is Headed In The Federal Space


Informatica has been in the government market for more than 20 years, similar to DLT Solutions. Caudill told CRN his business has noticed many drivers for agencies seeking to move into the cloud space, including government mandates that point to the practical benefits of adopting these solutions. Many, Caudill said, are opting for the hybrid format nowadays, with much of the information still on-premise at their government offices.

’The key to the most recent move is the ability to live in a hybrid environment,’ he said. ’Early on, it was either cloud or not cloud. In the government, that type of black and white comparison just doesn’t work. … It doesn’t mean their business processes can’t become more efficient and more effective by leveraging the hybrid approach. That’s one of the things we can help them do. … We enable the data to go and be wherever it needs to be at the time it needs to be there.’

Blankenhorn said he sees cloud services as the future for government entities, though he doesn’t believe it will be the full thrust of all technology applications in the end.

’The cloud lays a foundation for really an era of innovation within the government trying out new things and bringing these services into the market,’ he said. ’I don’t see the government turning off their data centers. That’s not going to happen, but I do see the cloud as being a terrific way to augment the existing infrastructure.’

PUBLISHED SEPT. 4, 2014

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