Cloud Management Model helps public organisations get the best out of Cloud
Cloud Services bring similar benefits to public organisations as they do to private ones, when for example research data can be accessed and used with more ease. With the help of Cloud Services, public organisations can also develop more agile processes and ways of working and react faster to changing user needs, for example.
It is obviously possible to implement a flexible and fluid working model in on-premises -environments. However, Cloud Services support DevOps-tools much better, for example. They also make new technologies available sooner than is possible in on-premises -environments.
The benefits of Cloud are undisputed then, I think. The best way to harness them in full is to find the right balance between experimenting new things and careful planning. In this text, I’d like to share my experience in how to make the leap to Cloud as smooth as possible.
Cloud Management Model answers key questions better than a cloud strategy
The term “cloud strategy” has been trending for a while now. Many understand it as a plan on how to move to cloud and how to benefit from the move. However, I think this definition is too narrow. To generalise, some take the cloud strategy to be just a tool to define if the platform to be used should be Azure, AWS or Google and which systems should be moved there. When you begin taking steps based on this type of a strategy, you see soon enough that there are many more questions which need answers – beyond platform-choices and system migrations.
This is why I think our Cloud Management Model is a better tool for those looking to take the leap to cloud. The Sofigate way to build it leans heavily on our Business Technology Standard, and thus covers all important questions, such as:
- What are the goals for moving to Cloud from a business and IT point of view?
- What positions and knowhow do we need to use Cloud Services?
- Which positions can we fill ourselves? What should we outsource?
- Should we use one or multiple cloud platforms?
- Do we need a Cloud Team to support implementation and if so, which roles should we have in it?
- What kinds of services do our development teams, who use cloud services, need?
- Have we categorised our data pools with Cloud in mind and from the point of view of our own operations?
- How do we manage cyber security and how do we make use of the cyber security features of Cloud?
- How do we manage costs? Cloud environments need more active cost management than local ones.
- Do we want to migrate old systems to the Cloud or build new ones? What is our ideal timeline?
Here’s how start building your Cloud Management Model
Building a Cloud Management Model is not much different whether you are a privately run business or a public or government organization. Both should link their management models closely to the goals of the organisation.
It is possible to build a Cloud Management Model in-house. If your organisation wishes to build one independently, these steps will get you started:
- Set goals: Decide together what the starting point is and what the goal looks like.
- Delegate responsibilities clearly.
- Build an operating model for the first stage.
- Make experiments boldly!
While it is possible to build the model completely independently, it may be easier to get started with an outside consultant. With the right partner, you will be able to make sure that all the right details and possible issues have been taken into consideration.
Trust in Cloud is growing among public organisations
Cyber security is still a major concern for both public and private organisations. In the public sector there is the added pressure of responsibilities and law, which service providers need to abide by. Thankfully in Finland the public governance sector has created some very good guidelines to refer to. However, common understanding on how to interpret these guidelines is still underway. Decisions on the placement of data pools is always the responsibility of the officials in question, but outside consultants can offer perspective and guidance in the process.
In a training session for Finnish government organisations held in Autumn 2020 we asked the participants how they feel about public cloud, cyber security and public organisations. Previously attitudes have been quite cautious, but it seems the tide is turning. Most of those who answered believed that in 2025 public cloud is already considered to be safer than private in public government officials. This is also our strong belief. It is possible to build public cloud environments in a way that they have stronger cyber security than traditional on-premise -implementations.
A Cloud Managament Model built with our support will also cover any questions related to cyber security, such as data categorisation and location restrictions, guidelines and exit-plans, audits, monitoring and access management. In a cloud environment, cyber security policies will not just be another guideline, but the settings defined in it can be centrally configured with the management tools in cloud services.
Be brave, take the leap into cloud
Change is easier to navigate with the right partner. We have extensive experience from working with public organisations and government officials in a variety of projects. We can help you plan the whole Cloud Management Model or just a part of it, offer support in planning the governance model , share best practices and coach your specialists.
I’d like to encourage public organisations to be brave and take the leap to Cloud. It does not depend on which part of the Cloud journey you are on: Experimental steps are a part of it–combined with a plan on how to manage Cloud Services for best results. Moving to a Cloud environment makes so much possible: better user experience and service, easier sharing of knowledge, building better service chains and supporting the service reliability of your own environment.
Sofigate spurred Finnish public organisations on their cloud journey
In Autumn 2020, Sofigate held a training programme for public organisations with the goal of helping them create the first draft of a Cloud Management Model. Participating organisations included Business Finland, The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency, The Natural Resources Institute Finland, Finnish Food Authority, The National Land Survey of Finland and Metsähallitus (the Finnish Forest Administration), among others.
Many of the organisations who took part in the programme already make use of public cloud services or have at least done some experiments with it. However, many still felt it helpful to learn how to better grasp the bigger picture of cloud services and to be able to better understand all the aspects of cloud management.
“We have already used Cloud platforms in developing machine learning solutions to make processing funding applications more efficient, for example. We have also realized the Azure technical management model. The training by Sofigate covered the various aspects of cloud management. We were given a kind of table of contents to Cloud policies, which we will now begin drafting”, says Pekka Pajuoja, the CIO of Business Finland.