With the widespread adoption of cloud computing by the government, federal agencies have business units making cloud-based decisions independently of one another. The impact is two-fold. First, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments are becoming the norm. Second, decentralized management can compromise the ability of agencies to operate securely and efficiently.1 The challenge becomes how can Central IT transform the way they work with Business Unit IT, in order to be involved in these decisions.
The Transformation of Central IT
Central IT is regaining control by assuming the role of a cloud service broker (CSB). This transformation is not a simple task, and may require IT staff to learn new skills and leverage new toolsets. A critical component of the government CSB role is aligning with the various business units (or bureaus) to implement a shared cloud strategy. Once established, Central IT can offer cloud services and infrastructure from the department or agency level to the business unit level, and ultimately manage the agencies’ entire hybrid or multi-cloud environment. According to Gartner, the key to success for this model is to drive cost transparency and accountability.2
How CloudHealth Can Help
The CloudHealth cloud management platform provides business intelligence across hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments. Leading public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure are supported within the platform, as well as support for on-premises environments. With CloudHealth, Central IT can:
Drive accountability with visibility into business unit usage.
Within the platform, assets can be categorized into logical business groupings known as Perspectives. For example, many government agencies build Perspectives for Environments, Lines of Business, and Projects. View data by these Perspectives, and use the insights to hold key stakeholders accountable.
Gain financial transparency.
CloudHealth reports include historical, current, and forecasted spend, and provide budget tracking. The platform enables users to fully understand cloud spend and perform showback and/or chargeback.
Eliminate waste and optimize cloud infrastructure.
Identify assets that are underutilized and reduce spend in the cloud. Pinpoint opportunities for improvement across cost, usage, performance, and security.
Centralize cloud governance.
CloudHealth enables users to simplify daily cloud operations by implementing policies to proactively alert users and take actions related to cost spikes, tagging compliance issues, security vulnerabilities, and more.
Provide scoped access to users.
CloudHealth Organizations restrict the data available to users within an agency based on accounts. Additionally, Central IT can assign roles to users, further refining access to certain pockets of data.
Manage sensitive workloads.
CloudHealth monitors and reports on AWS GovCloud accounts.
1 Federal Government Opportunities and Challenges With Business Unit IT Strategies, Rick Holgate, 16 August 2017
2 Gartner Cloud Computing Primer for 2018, David Mitchell Smith, 16 January 2018.