Cloud is evolving how the Department of Defense (DoD) defends assets, supports the warfighter, and gains tactical advantages. Maj. Gen. Garrett Yee, the assistant to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) director, spoke about the benefits and challenges that arise from moving from legacy infrastructure to cloud infrastructure.

A core component of the DoD’s Cloud Strategy is maintaining a competitive advantage in the modern battlespace. Yee emphasized that any organization that has been around for many years utilizes legacy systems, which becomes a challenge when migrating to the cloud.

“You have a legacy system that works for you today. But as you migrate it to the cloud, that system won’t be as effective as if it were built into the cloud,” Yee said during GDIT Emerge: Defense Cloud on June 23.

Therefore, according to Yee, two things occur when making a move. One; organizations lift and shift legacy systems into the cloud resulting in organizations not receiving the full benefits of cloud infrastructure. Two; rebuilding the application from the ground up and benefiting entirely from a cloud infrastructure. Some organizations have decided to ride out the legacy applications until it is time to replace them and rebuild the new application within the cloud infrastructure. But rebuilding legacy systems requires funding and cloud infrastructure expertise.

“Where do you find the money? You need to justify spending more money for the migration of a legacy system to a cloud infrastructure. Explain what the big benefit from this move is,” Yee said.

The most significant benefits, Yee explained, of cloud-based infrastructure are resiliency and elasticity. Through a cloud infrastructure, organizations retain access and connectivity to crucial data from anywhere in the world; that kind of resiliency offers unprecedented access. Cloud infrastructure also offers on-demand provisions quickly and dynamically, and that on-demand capability allows organizations to move forward with their mission.

“When you are a worldwide organization, and you have warfighters in hard-to-reach environments that resiliency and elasticity become necessary moving forward,” Yee said.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.