FEDTECH: What steps can federal IT leaders take to effectively respond to these trends?
Hilliker: When it comes to multicloud, it’s about getting a better awareness of what workloads are running, how they’re operating and where applications are located. For example, while it’s easy to get data in, it can be expensive to get data out of applications at the fringe. Architecture and planning from Intel can help.
Robust benchmarking is also critical. Intel is doing a ton of it. From WordPress to Oracle to Java, we benchmark everything and can do it in the cloud. Even better? We’re now giving out our tuning guides for open source. While these were originally used for on-premises deployments, they’ll also work in Infrastructure as a Service environments. They offer details on how to run, how to set up and how to get optimal performance out of services. Put simply, benchmarking is now a north star for cloud success. Intel is helping agencies achieve this goal by sharing what we’ve optimized and what the agency can expect.
Finally, there needs to be a shift to embrace the concept of financial operations, or FinOps. Much like DevOps, FinOps is a mindset change: How do you do financial management of your cloud with more accountability?
At Intel, we have a whole team in IT that does just this, and we’re sharing our model. By combining finance and operations to get a real-time view of what’s happening — and what it costs — agencies are better prepared to identify ideal multicloud workloads, deliver on application development and assess opportunities for scale.
FEDTECH: What are some potential pitfalls along the way?
Hilliker: The biggest pitfall is making huge, sweeping public statements of moving entirely to the cloud. While this may seem like a good idea at the time, it’s an awkward conversation to have with stakeholders when agencies need to ratchet it back and adopt a slow-and-steady strategy.
Rather than going all-in, it’s a good idea to start with the end state in mind. Determine where cloud fits in your agency, what specific purpose it serves and what metrics you’re looking to achieve. Don’t do the blanket statements.
It’s also important to talk about risk. In the cloud, managing risk is critical as the sheer number of resources, solutions and services ramps up. Solving for risk means thinking about cloud security as an opportunity, rather than a hindrance. How do I protect data in transit? How do I ensure the right people have access to the right data? How do I defend my network and applications against malicious actors? By adopting a security-first strategy, agencies can more confidently adopt emerging trends and deliver on cloud potential.
Brought to you by: