The baseline for acceptable security has been largely reset, and most federal agencies have found an enterprise-level cloud solution that replaces legacy IT, at least for the hardware layer.
Even better: Now that the best cloud vendors have set their sights on full-stack services for their most high-security customers, solutions like their GovCloud (US) even meet the standards set by FedRAMP, the Department of Defense’s SRG and DFARS, and the Justice Department’s CJIS.
Here’s where a common (though deceptive) temptation may arise.
If full-stack solutions aren’t feasible, agencies may reason that investing in a lower-cost private cloud option instead, administered by their in-house IT team, is a viable possibility.
Their teams are made up of competent professionals, after all; can’t they design, deploy, and maintain a functional, secure, standards-compliant solution modeled after the premium services?
What federal agencies need to consider with cloud IT
Unlike your in-house staff, vendors like AWS employ a staff of thousands who stay on top of the latest advances in hardware, configuration, development, security, threat assessment, and data protection.
As standards like FedRAMP evolve, full-service vendors adjust their compliance accordingly, taking the burden off of your team.
Under a full-stack solution, your team spends zero time on tasks like repairs and troubleshooting that suck up valuable hours they could put to more productive use.
Readiness-focused in-house teams can monitor the directions your agency needs to build out; when it’s time to take the next step, there’s no patching or sunk costs in legacy systems. You consult with your vendor, and they make the transition for you, seamlessly and quickly.
Even that familiar factor that can stop best practices in their tracks—cost—has become less of a hurdle recently, given the emergence of the economies of scale enjoyed by the biggest cloud vendors.
Remember that adopting an external premium solution isn’t failing to capitalize on your team’s potential to deliver. It’s capitalizing on their potential beyond the traditional IT responsibilities that full-stack service makes unnecessary.
It seems counterintuitive, but our goal is to offer the most secure, responsive, scalable product to our customers, at the lowest cost. (Readiness Summit 2021)
Senior Program Manager at AWS
Although it may seem daunting to lead the way in shifting your agency from a hybrid system to a full-stack solution, the need for the comprehensive services offered by premium public cloud vendors grows more urgent as technology—and threats—become more complicated and sophisticated.
Delaying the switch is not just penny-wise and pound-foolish: It poses real security risks and inefficiencies that 21st century federal agencies can’t afford to ignore.
Read more about how AWS enhances Acadis with cloud security and efficiency.
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