Aug 11 2023

Cloud Provides Flexibility and Security; Outside Help Makes Deployment More Efficient  

Enquizit has long experience navigating federal agencies through complex projects.

Even the best-trained pilots need assistance navigating through a cloud. Limited visibility and occasional turbulence force them to rely on instrumentation to fly through safely. The surrounding air pushes and pulls at the plane in unexpected ways; the pilots can’t rely simply on their own abilities to make it to clear sky.

This holds true for cloud computing as well. While the federal government is filled with skilled and talented IT workers, most of them would rather focus on their mission than on the ongoing and often routine maintenance needed for these complex systems.

With so many clouds and so few staff, agencies need a guiding hand to help them find their way through all the cloud offerings and show them how to best take advantage of what the cloud contains.

Third-party providers such as Enquizit, a CDW company, can lead agencies to a better cloud experience, with more security, flexibility and scalability.

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Third-party Providers Lead to a Better Cloud Experience

Enquizit has deep knowledge of the journey into and through the cloud. The company has been working with the federal government on complex projects since the early 2000s, before the cloud as we know it was even available.

One of its first federal jobs was to upgrade the National Park Service’s material requisition system, which park rangers and other NPS employees use to acquire supplies needed to complete projects.

The new version — which is still in place today, in an updated format — is both a financial planning website and a sort of for the NPS. It analyzes the request, looks at whether the federal budget contains the funding for the materials and checks on their availability.

The project that laid the foundation for much of Enquizit’s cloud-based work, however, was created outside the federal government. In 2010, the company helped build the online version of the Common App, the site that enables high school students to apply to multiple colleges with one application.

This site attracts millions of students each year who can apply to more than 1,000 colleges — and they generally have only from August through February to do so. The college application process is stressful enough without adding website downtime due to overload.

Enquizit leveraged cloud technologies to keep the website running under the onslaught of nervous high schoolers, letting the nonprofit organization that runs the Common App focus on its mission rather than needing to assign people to the heavier lift of keeping its network running.

Today, federal agencies ranging from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which calculates the critical Consumer Price Index, to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, now in the process of updating its National Electronic Disease Surveillance System, are using Enquizit’s expertise.

The company creates and provides a platform for these agencies to collect data from sources across the country, while still allowing those states or companies the flexibility to collect and report data with their own methods. The platform lets federal agencies aggregate the data despite its differing formats, standardize it and then look for important (and sometimes lifesaving) national trends.

READ MORE: NOAA, NASA and the CDC rely on advanced data analytics to pursue their missions.

Security Matters When Sensitive Data Is Transferred to the Cloud

These vast lakes of data, however, are also rich targets for bad actors who are looking for personally identifiable information, for classified or sensitive material — or who just want to disrupt a system by stealing, altering or even destroying data.

Constant surveillance and logging are necessary to watch for threats within a network, and this is an all-encompassing job. Again, federal agencies need to carry out their missions; assigning staff trained in the agency’s fundamental work to watch for bugs, bots and other malware takes them away from those duties.

Look at the example of, the single sign-on service that gives a citizen access to any government site with only one username and password. As its homepage states: “Protect your users’ information with the highest standards of digital security and user experience. handles software development, security operations, and customer support so you don’t have to.”

Enquizit built based on its experience with the Common App, which also contains sensitive information such as students’ home addresses and Social Security numbers.

Storing sensitive citizen information in the cloud means that the data is protected with the most up-to-date security tools, and it remains separate from a physical government server that could be used as a portal to access other agencies or other critical data.

When a function is deployed into the cloud, the agency inherits the system security that those cloud providers have already built. It provides a natural level of security that follows FedRAMP guidelines.

And the platform built by Enquizit allows agencies to take advantage of security updates done by the cloud providers at scale, at a speed that a government agency couldn’t keep up with while continuing to carry out its responsibilities.

DIVE DEEPER: Managed services provide agencies time to carry out zero-trust planning.

Technology Upgrades May Require Expert Assistance

Just as cloud deployment can increase security levels, it can also encourage — if not require — app modernization. Some agencies are running systems that are more than 50 years old, that operate on antiquated technologies such as COBOL or that aren’t even supported by the original manufacturers, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

These environments can’t interact efficiently, if at all, with more modern systems. At the same time, they may not have the proper backup necessary for data to survive a natural disaster, a system failure or a ransomware attack.

Federal workers are spread across the country; if Washington, D.C., were to fall off the map tomorrow, those workers could keep government running with modern apps that live in the cloud.

Even in less precarious situations, the capabilities provided by Enquizit can let an agency move quickly on projects. Those capabilities allow agencies to be flexible enough to scale up an app when needed — say, if there’s a surge in passport applications, if April 15 is near or the world wants to watch a NASA livestream of a total eclipse — and retract quickly when the need is no longer there. That also helps an agency control its IT spending.

There are many boutique companies that can address individual pieces of these projects — they can monitor security or provide app modernization, for example, but not always both.

Enquizit provides full-stack solutions bringing a host of IT skills together, making sure that an agency’s journey to the cloud ends with a smooth landing.

Getty/jullasart somdok

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