In 2020, as the world suddenly shifted to remote operations, cloud technology kept vital operations running at organizations around the world, including federal agencies.
Booz Allen Senior Cloud Security Architect, Brad Beaulieu remembers one example. “The agency was already a first-mover in government for cloud adoption,” he said. During the pandemic, this cloud environment enabled “a rapid and agile response when the agency needed, almost overnight, to develop new capabilities to support public needs.”
After a year of accelerated adoption and continued innovation, the cloud marketplace in 2021 offers more choices than ever before. But success is not a given, particularly in today’s increasingly multi-cloud and multi-vendor environments.
Beaulieu spoke recently with Francis Rose at GovMatters about navigating today’s cloud complexities. Highlights from this episode of Industry Insider, presented by AWS and the Amazon Partner Network, follow.
Integration between platforms and services
For speed, scalability, efficiency, and cost savings, two (or more) clouds can be better than one, Beaulieu said. But success lies in bringing the pieces together.
“In multi-cloud environments, the integration between services is complex: How do you use the right cloud for the right workload? How do you make sure the cloud services communicate with one another?
Connectivity and oversight are key. “‘Multi-cloud’ doesn’t just mean you’re in multiple clouds,” Beaulieu said. “Organizations need to establish core connectivity between, and governance around, these environments and understand the connection points. Only then can they truly embrace multi-cloud scale and optimization.”
Security across the enterprise
Another critical ingredient to multi-cloud success is an aggregated, continuous approach to security.
“While multi-cloud integration means you might not have to worry about failover or patching services, you will need to account for a new way of managing security and compliance,” Beaulieu said.
As organizations shift their infrastructures to cloud providers, stove-piped systems may result that aren’t necessarily aggregating information in a standard way, he pointed out.
To address this issue, create infrastructure that enables integration and comprehensive visibility, he said. “Agencies need flexible and holistic visibility across all environments so they can know what’s happening in real time and react at the speed of relevance.”
A cross-vendor, holistic approach to modernization
As federal acquisition moves toward larger, more comprehensive contracts that involve multiple vendors and cloud providers, Beaulieu said he’s seeing the emergence of new types of industry partnerships.
“Vendors and cloud providers are coming together in new ways to develop solutions and innovate across a broader set of challenges,” he said.
As they do, Beaulieu said, organizations must take a more holistic view of cloud across different platforms and apply common standards, shared services, and enterprise governance.
“As cloud becomes an essential layer of the modern digital enterprise, it’s important to address it as one pillar of a broader modernization philosophy,” he said.
Learn more about Booz Allen’s work implementing innovative cloud solutions for the federal government.
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