The Small Business Administration (SBA) has successfully deployed a cloud environment to track all IT systems on its network, per CTO Sanjay Gupta during a Feb. 12 RedHat virtual summit.

“We wanted a singular way to manage, monitor, track and secure all IT access … from the cloud … that is something we have successfully deployed at SBA,” Gupta said.

He added, “Our default starting point is the cloud for the last several years now … There needs to be a hard justification if you want to do something on premises.”

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All organizations have some tech in the cloud and some on-prem, Gupta said, but cloud has a speed of delivery unlike anything the CTO has seen in his IT tenure. Instead of weeks and months spent on IT acquisition, the lead up time for cloud is minutes or hours.

“This is the first time at least in my 3 years in IT that the IT professionals are not hindered by speed of delivery,” Gupta said.

At SBA, cloud is also the cost-effective choice compared to on-prem options. Cost and efficiency combined, Gupta said, is a big advantage of the hybrid cloud model because it allows agencies to “scale up pretty rapidly.

Gupta quickly debunked the myth that the cloud is inherently less secure than on-prem networks, especially at SBA where security was prioritized from the get-go of the agency’s cloud journey.

“One of the things we have been doing is security by design … meaning it is not an afterthought, not an add on, you start with security by choice,” he offered.

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.