The myriad applications of the enterprise cloud extend beyond big businesses alone as more and more organizations are realizing the benefits of shifting operations to a virtual platform. In particular, cloud services are gaining steam within the governmental service sector. But if any single entity needs a robust security plan for its online content, it's the government – which is why it is finding a home in the enterprise cloud, a place where security needs are met across the board.
Governments taking to cloud for mobility, security
According to StateTech, governments of every size are increasingly realizing the benefits of cloud computing to both expedite day-to-day operations and ensure the kind of security that can prevent a malicious incursion. One example of a successful government cloud conversion happened in Alcachua County, Fl., a few years ago. The migration began to take shape when the county realized that, in the wake of various budget cuts, it was getting harder to maintain robust functionality. In addition, the proliferation of malware posed a constant threat to its operations.
The county needed a way to maintain security without forking over large sums of money. Its tactic at the time – continually purchasing special servers for the express purpose of security – was proving highly cumbersome and not cost-effective. The county was rapidly losing money, and realized it would not be able to sustain itself using its security model at the time. Fortunately, the county's network security analyst Marty Albanese found a solution to the problem: the enterprise cloud. Since moving its operations to its current cloud base four years ago, Albanese said the county has not experienced a single infection.
According to Frost & Sullivan industry principal Frank Dickson, any enterprise can expect to receive the same convenience of operations and assurance of security by harnessing a cloud platform.
"With the exponential growth of new threats and attacks, organizations see cloud-based security as an efficient way to provide security," Dickson said. "They can buy Security as a Service and don't have to maintain the hardware and software and upgrade the equipment every three to five years."
The private cloud is the place for governments to enhance operations
Alcachua County is not the only smaller government that was proactive in realizing the benefits of the enterprise cloud. In Rowan County, N.C., IT officials have been making inroads in the cloud, especially as far as defending against the threat landscape. According to David Boling, IT director for the county, the private cloud service provider used by his area has done a wonderful job of expediting government operations while still allowing the county to be in control of its information.
"The wireless network traffic runs over the county's network the way it has in the past, but the management and configuration features are run over the cloud," he said, adding that the cloud platform also makes maintaining security a breeze. "All the new security features are updated in the cloud, and we can just click on the ones that we want to add."
These kinds of benefits are common in the private cloud, and are a key reason why so many different enterprises are moving operations to a cloud infrastructure. In a guest post for Cloud Times, industry expert Adam Stern wrote that when it comes to deciding between a public and private cloud platform, governmental entities should always choose the latter because of the robust security infrastructure that is built into it. Whereas the public cloud's open structure makes it challenging to offer stringent business security, the enterprise cloud is tailor-made to meet the defensive needs of its clientele.