Growing Our Cloud Smarts

The move to cloud computing in government has changed from a focus on Cloud First to Cloud Smart. The initial push to cloud encouraged agencies to look at cloud options when adding or updating technology but provided no direct guidance. This "Cloud First" push provided a way to educate agencies on what cloud is and why it is a viable option for deploying applications to the government workforce. This education worked, making even the most security-conscious agencies comfortable with moving data and applications to the cloud to gain new efficiencies in time and budget.

The Cloud Smart policy, a logical evolution of Cloud First, was introduced last year and provides more guidance surrounding security, procurement, and workforce skills to foster cloud adoption and implementation. While the value cloud can provide is widely accepted, procurement of cloud remains a stumbling block to wider, easier cloud adoption. The shift in spending from capital funds to operating funds and the fluidity of the fees based on need and usage require different language and structure in contracts. Security also continues to be a focus, creating new "shared responsibility" language in cloud agreements and plans.

To help you get smarter on how to be cloud smart, we've compiled a list of upcoming events that cover the areas related to a successful cloud deployment.

  • Fortifying the New Cloud Norm (October 8, 2019; Washington, DC) -- In this government-only breakfast program, federal cloud and cyber experts will discuss how agencies are increasingly providing full visibility, easy data management, and protection across internal and external cloud services. Topics to be addressed include meeting GDPR regulations, employing efficient backup and recovery processes, ensuring end-to-end user and application visibility, and delivering resources from the off-premise cloud at on-premise speeds.
  • FCW Summit: IT Modernization (October 10, 2019; Washington, DC) -- This event will explore how agencies have navigated the policy developments and the workforce challenges as they relate to modernization. It will also look at who has delivered the best transformation efforts in cybersecurity, shared services, secure cloud and next-generation networks. Topics include Cloud Smart progress, identity management, and data center optimization.
  • ICIT Fall Briefing: The Intersection of Leadership, Transformation and Security (October 17, 2019; Arlington, VA) - Hosted by the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, this briefing will discuss government-wide efforts around modernization, security, and data analytics, and offer first-hand insights on how to improve success through better leadership, operational execution, and implementation. Topics include cloud security, data security, and enterprise DevOps.
  • AWS re:Invent (December 2-6, 2019; Las Vegas, NV) - With Amazon Web Services having such a massive presence in government, this event provides technical content, hands-on learning, and keynote announcements applicable to government users. The event will offer many opportunities to draw connections between what they build on AWS and how to use it in the real world.
  • Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations & Cloud Strategies Conference 2019 (December 9-12, 2019; Las Vegas, NV) -- Guided by the latest impartial Gartner research and input from infrastructure and operations leaders and your peers from around the world, this event explores what makes a successful strategy - from cloud, IoT, to artificial intelligence, automation and machine learning. See how to accelerate innovation and agility in a hybrid world.
  • Cloud Computing Conference and Expo (December 11, 2019; Washington, DC) - Focused solely on the government market, this event will review the variety of platforms and solutions available, highlight the federal government success stories, and provide a road map of how those responsible for implementing cloud-based technologies can evaluate the options and choose the best solutions for their agency.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on where you're getting cloud smart. Share your ideas in the comments.

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