Feb 23 2018

6 Tips for a Smooth Federal Cloud Migration

Before contemplating a move to the cloud, feds should heed the wisdom of those who have done it already.

Cloud migrations within federal agencies can be complex and can sometimes take years to complete. Here are some tips for federal IT leaders looking to make the transition to cloud services, offered by feds who have already made the switch.

  1. Avoid vendor bias. Starting with a level playing field for all cloud vendors will help smooth the approval process, says NOAA CIO Zachary Goldstein.
  2. Create cross-functional teams. It’s essential to take a holistic approach and involve people from across the agency, says Veterans Affairs Department spokesperson Terrence Hayes.
  3. Run live pilots. “Testing and piloting are key,” says Justice Department CIO Joseph Klimavicz. “I always use my office as a guinea pig.”
  4. Check the network. Switching from servers down the hall to across the country can impact performance, says Klimavicz. Make sure network capacity and quality are up to the task.
  5. Devise a communication strategy. Cloud adoption can entail a huge culture change, says Goldstein. Agencies need a solid communication strategy that explains what they’re moving to the cloud and why they’re doing it.
  6. Learn from others. Agencies that have been down this road already can point out potholes, Goldstein adds. “We spent a lot of time with the General Services Administration before we went with Google Suite. We owe them a big debt of gratitude.”

For more one federal cloud migration, and why they often begin with a switch to cloud-based email, check out our feature story, “Feds Can Kick-start Cloud Migrations with Email.”