How can government agencies serve the public when they must rely on legacy IT systems that can hamper productivity and collaboration?
A 2017 US Government Accountability Office evaluation reported that a DOD system that coordinates nuclear forces was still using eight-inch floppy disks, and a Treasury Department tax data master file was still running on an IBM mainframe. Add to this intensive reporting requirements that reduce productivity, attrition among older IT workers to manage legacy systems, an inability to compete with private enterprise to attract highly skilled young IT specialists, high hardware maintenance costs for obsolete systems, and the ever-present budget constraints, and you have daunting hurdles to IT modernization.
Another concern is the lack of a clear path to the cloud: Will investments and decisions made today be viable when/if more applications and operations are moved to the cloud—or if an agency starts using advanced technologies such as machine learning and blockchain in applications? What if regulatory or budgetary realities change and require a different cloud model?
The vast majority of federal government agencies are well aware of the benefits of cloud-hosted applications to overcome these hurdles, despite the concerns. According to a 2017 joint Deloitte-Government Business Council (GBC) study, more than 41 percent of federal decision-makers said they were making progress in moving applications to the cloud, with another nine percent planning to migrate in the near future. But for agencies that have real concerns about implementing cloud-hosted solutions for their more complex database, analytics, or OLTP needs, many of the benefits this technology provides have simply not been an option.
Move Mission-Critical Processes to the Cloud with Confidence
Cloud-integrated engineered systems for Oracle Database can address many of the key concerns that inhibit government agencies from making the transition away from legacy on-premises infrastructures. Engineered systems are purpose-built with hundreds of specialized software algorithms to support that purpose, enabling better performance, at a lower cost and with higher availability.
Oracle appreciates the lingering concerns that some agencies have about hosting mission-critical business processes in the cloud. That’s why we offer more choices of database infrastructure services. Government agencies have flexible deployment options, whether they need on-premises with Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer, in the cloud with Oracle Database Cloud Exadata Service, or a hybrid model that includes traditional on-premises deployment as well.
What is Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer? This fully-integrated engineered system is delivered to your data center to address latency and data sovereignty requirements—providing an alternative to the public cloud while retaining the benefits of cloud.
Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer and Oracle Database Cloud Exadata Service are built on top of the on-premises Exadata platform, providing identical performance running the same Oracle database. But they go beyond this. Both are enhanced with cloud tooling to simplify management and are packaged as a cloud service to provide better agility, flexibility and economics.
Because Exadata Cloud at Customer, Database Cloud Exadata Service, and Exadata on premises share the same platform, you can choose to maintain a hybrid cloud infrastructure with no loss of performance and with significant cost savings.
No matter which deployment model is chosen, Exadata optimizes Oracle Database performance and enables agencies to move mission-critical processes to the cloud for time-tested reliability, while working within tight budgets. Further, according to an IDC report, customers can realize average annual benefits worth over $150k (avg. 100 users) with a breakeven point of just 11 months – resulting in a 5-year ROI of 429%.
Move to the Cloud Securely
As agencies hammer out their cloud migration strategies, they should rethink security in the cloud. While five years ago, data security was cited as the primary inhibitor to cloud adoption across all industries, Nextgov cites an IDG survey of 600 organizations in which more than half of those surveyed said the cloud improved their security.
Most agencies don’t have the expertise to go to war against today’s sophisticated cyber attackers. Oracle security experts harden all the layers as a whole in our engineered systems to help government leverage maximum security value from its cloud investment, alleviating worry about securing the gaps among different parts of the system.
Protect Your IT Investment with a Smart Cloud Strategy
With any Oracle Cloud option, government agencies can avoid the costs of hiring, training, and retaining staff with specialized IT skills. This is a challenge for both military and civilian agencies, as workers with legacy-system skills reach retirement age and the industry woos younger IT workers with the promise of higher salaries.
As an agency’s hybrid cloud model evolves to meet new demands, the Oracle infrastructure is flexible to adapt seamlessly because of the identical on-premises and cloud configurations. This also mitigates the risks associated with capital expenditures.
Government agencies should take a measured approach to cloud migration, building a well-thought-out strategy. One important consideration is that because Oracle infrastructure on premises and in the cloud are identical, customers see the same benefits regardless of where it’s deployed. Additionally, since the process to shift between on premises, the cloud, and Cloud at Customer is fast and easy, agencies experience significantly lower risks and migration costs than with competing solutions.
For more information on Oracle Exadata and how it can help government agencies accelerate database performance, read i360Gov’s report: Cloud-Driven Databases Improve Service Quality, Reduce Costs.