As citizens’ needs evolve, public sector organisations are increasingly turning to cloud-based solutions to facilitate improved citizen services that enable people to do the things they need to do, when they need to do them. But how do you plan an effective digital transition from legacy on-premises infrastructures to ‘true’ cloud computing that supports positive citizen outcomes? By taking these four steps your organisation will springboard to the cloud, minimising risk while maximising your cloud ROI.
At Six Degrees we speak to organisations across the public sector that are looking to plan their paths to cloud computing platforms strategically from their current environments. It’s often a similar story: public sector digital champions understand the power of cloud computing to bring services closer to citizens and residents, but their organisations are wary of the investment burden – and potential operational and security risks – that a ‘big bang’ cloud approach could introduce.
There’s a danger that these perceived operational and security risks can lead to a form of infrastructure paralysis, trapping organisations on outdated on-premises infrastructures that do not facilitate the seamless engagement journeys citizens now expect.
We believe there’s a different way to approach your public sector organisation’s digital transition journey – one that minimises operational and security risks while maximising cloud ROI. We call it the springboard to the cloud, and through using the springboard we enable organisations to unlock the potential of the cloud to support positive citizen outcomes.
In this blog we will take you through the four digital transition steps that will enable you to beat legacy lock-in and maximise your cloud ROI.
Four Steps to the Cloud
We believe that there are four key steps that public sector organisations should take in order to achieve full autonomy while modernising and future-proofing their IT infrastructures.
Step One: Undertake a Cloud Readiness Assessment
Many public sector organisations feel trapped by legacy applications and mission-critical workloads that force them to remain on on-premises infrastructure. However, you may be more ready to undertake a digital transition than you think. A cloud readiness assessment will help you understand what can transition to the cloud and when, and will allow you to develop a fully evidenced and workable digital transformation strategy. Importantly, the cloud readiness assessment should take into account your organisation’s risk appetite, and ensure that any proposed roadmap is developed in alignment with this.
Step Two: Transition Legacy Workloads to the Cloud
Legacy workloads can feel like millstones around the neck of public sector IT managers. Often 10 to 15 years old, these workloads are large, cumbersome, invariably sitting on old technology, and in most cases absolutely fundamental to mission-critical operational processes.
There are two approaches that you can take to transitioning these legacy workloads: relocating the host servers to a data centre colocation facility, or migrating them across to a cloud environment that is capable of hosting legacy workloads. Six Degrees offers cloud hosting services that support both x86 and non-x86 legacy workloads that are not yet ready for migrating to hyperscale cloud providers.
By transitioning these workloads to Six Degrees, your public sector organisation can host its legacy servers on a powerful, future-proofed infrastructure platform that is fully secure and has the potential to improve performance and save money on licensing costs.
Step Three: Move ‘Low Hanging Fruit’ to Hyperscale Cloud
Many of the public sector organisations we speak to see migrating to the hyperscale cloud providers – Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google – as ‘true’ digital transformation. Once you have transitioned your legacy workloads to a colocation facility or a cloud environment that is capable of hosting them, step three is to move ‘low hanging fruit’ across to a private cloud or public hyperscale cloud platform.
The likes of web portals, databases and Exchange services can be transitioned across to IaaS, PaaS and SaaS platforms without introducing unnecessary risk to your organisation, enabling you to access their massive potential for flexibility, scalability and enhanced functionality.
Don’t forget though that hyperscale cloud environments need appropriate security measures in place to mitigate the risk of downtime or data breach. Six Degrees delivers security by design throughout organisations’ digital transformation journeys, with expert cyber security services backed up by a UK-onshore cyber security operations centre (CSOC) that enables us to monitor and manage events across their infrastructures.
Step Four: Modernise Your Legacy Apps
Once your legacy workloads have been transitioned across to an appropriate cloud environment, you can begin to design and implement a legacy app modernisation programme. At Six Degrees we help public sector organisations leverage modern cloud infrastructures to make their legacy workloads more efficient, more effective in facilitating citizen and resident services, and future-proofed to retain high levels of security and functionality for years to come.
Plotting Your Digital Transition Journey
Is your organisation seeking to move away from a large outsourced infrastructure programme, or have you taken back control of your estate in-house but are running legacy, cumbersome workloads based on-premises with a small portion of estates moved to public cloud? Perhaps your organisation is operating in digital chaos, where disparate solutions both on-premises and in the cloud are working inefficiently, and it’s affecting your ability to operate efficiently?
You need a solution that bridges the gap between large outsourcing contacts, digital chaos or legacy on-premises workloads and true public cloud service delivery. Our new Springboard to the Cloud eBook examines the issues, processes, and technologies that can be adopted to provide public sector organisations with a journey to the cloud – a two-hop approach to transition, then transform to true public cloud delivery from legacy on-premises servers.