Government Technology reported earlier this month on the trend of state governments moving more functions into the cloud. Specifically, states like Alaska, Ohio and Colorado are all taking action to assess cloud viability, either by utilizing a private cloud or at looking at the possibility of housing applications there. These efforts could set an example for other government agencies to consider cloud-based solutions for their mainframe modernization projects.
Here are three specific advantages for governments working within the cloud, drawn from the Government Technology article and an additional piece from the Brookings Institution:
- Cost-efficiency: Speaking about Ohio's private cloud initiative, the Government Technology piece mentions lower costs and better budgeting as a goal for the state's IT service. A flexible browser-friendly mainframe tool could help these governments develop important applications without having to spend additional money on resources.
- Emphasis on security: States are generally aware of the need for IT security, as the Brookings article notes. Establishing this as an important value from the outset keeps the focus on secure connections, even if the state is initially not in a position to achieve this goal.
- Greater storage space: Working within the cloud may open up storage space to the state in massive quantities. Last year, California reportedly improved its storage space capacity by 300 percent. The state also decreased its storage footprint by 30 percent during the same time.
While each state will have its own difficulties encouraging cloud based operations, taking the time to do so could eventually lead to net gains. When mainframe applications are in a web-accessible space, government organizations will experience increased access to data and functionality. Making the conversion is easy and will allow enterprises to move beyond desktop-based terminal emulators, which may use outdate plugins that put an organization at risk.