The best way for agencies to begin their transition to the cloud is to talk to agencies that have been through the same experience.

“It’s always good to talk to people who have gone through it,” said Craig McCullough, vice president of Commvault Federal, in an interview with MeriTalk.

Commvault is hosting Commvault GO in November for government agencies and other businesses to discuss the challenges of cloud adoption, including lack of proper hardware, personnel challenges, not having the right contracts, small budgets, and security obstacles. The event will include training sessions on Commvault software, security, and integration.

“The Federal government is going to be very cautious about moving anything to a cloud-based environment,” said Craig McCullough. (Photo: LinkedIn)

“The Federal government is going to be very cautious about moving anything to a cloud-based environment,” McCullough said.

However, cloud environments can enhance agencies’ security by providing disaster recovery systems that can retrieve lost data in the event of a cyberattack, according to McCullough. Housing agency data on one on-premise data center, on a finite set of hardware, will make it difficult to retrieve data if the data center is compromised. McCullough said that in the wake of major cyberattacks like WannaCry, agencies should create cloud adoption models that cover disaster recovery procedures.

“The data should not be compromised if their strategy is set up properly,” McCullough said.

Commvault software includes cloud backup data that won’t be affected by ransomware unless the attack is directed at Commvault specifically, according to a blog post by Gregg Odgen, senior solutions marketing manager at Commvault.

“A ransomware attack would have to be focused on breaching Commvault specifically and then have to find a way to modify and encrypt any data under our control,” Ogden said.

The cloud also will cost the government less money over a long period of time because the government won’t have to maintain the hardware, or manage the cycle of upgrades that keeps the network up to date.

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“You’re always leveraging the latest and greatest technology,” McCullough said.

Agencies are also looking to move to the cloud for reasons other than security, including moving software and data in order to make the mission easier to achieve. The cloud can allow agencies to access data in different locations, creating a more mobile workforce.

Some agencies are adopting hybrid cloud strategies or building cloud strategies that will allow them to sell the cloud as a service, according to McCullough.

McCullough said that the fastest moving agencies tend to be those with larger budgets.

“As the government assesses the value of what cloud technology can bring to them, it’s the larger agencies with a little more funding that can move faster,” McCullough said.

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Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Federal IT and K-12 Education.