Every year the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) produces the State CIO Top 10 Priorities, which is a collection of responses from state CIOs. For most of the last decade survey results have varied somewhat, but items that have remained consistent include: the importance of cyber security, cloud services, consolidation and Budget/Fiscal Management. I can personally attest to this, as I have been associated with NASCIO since 2008 as state Chief Technology Officer and state Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as Vice President of Technology for ViON Corporation. Although cyber security is near and dear to my heart, I want to focus on three of the top ten state priorities:
- Cloud Services
- Budget, Cost Control, Fiscal Management
What strikes me is the effect these three priorities have on each other. The overarching goal of delivering IT services to state agencies, and by extension their citizens, is to provide services more effectively and at a price point that budgets can absorb. The promise of savings and simplicity of cloud services has been widely documented, but in reality, perceived savings have yet to be realized and deploying legacy applications to the public cloud has become a more daunting task than expected. In many instances, IT shops within state agencies have sticker shock when they receive monthly invoices.
While these challenges are real, it does not mean that cloud services are not worth pursuing. In fact, just the opposite is true. What if you could control a public cloud environment and services from behind the firewall? What if you could offer public cloud services from the perspective of on-premise? What if you could deploy legacy applications to a public cloud-like service in a state’s data center? How much easier would that message be to communicate to state agencies requiring federal compliancy audits from CJIS and IRS Pub 1075?
The ideal scenario is to take the look and feel and ease of public cloud and integrate it into a state data center. From a user’s perspective it would be a very similar experience to Microsoft Azure or AWS, but in actuality they would be residing in the state’s enterprise data center. This is exactly what ViON Enterprise CloudTM(VEC) can deliver. VEC effectively addresses both cost and complexity challenges. The ViON Cloud Services PlatformTM (VCSP) provides a common governance framework and control over service options, eliminating “surprise” invoices and the ViON Multi-Cloud OrchestratorTM (VMCO) significantly reduces complexity, delivering automation and control over legacy infrastructure, hyperconverged infrastructure, private cloud environments and public cloud deployments. It’s this level of control and management that differentiates one cloud experience from another.
From a financial perspective, providing IT services to state agencies in an “as-a-Service” model can be difficult for providers that lack experience and resources. Calculating future capacity and factoring that into consumption rates is a complex process. How can state agencies acquire cloud services at an attractive price point while minimizing complexity and ensuring IT objectives are being met? In my role as a CIO, I looked to experience.
ViON has been providing a consumption-based IT delivery model since 2003. It started with the Department of Defense and has grown to service many more agencies at the federal and state government levels, as well as multiple organizations in the commercial sector. ViON’s financial model for infrastructure services enables CIOs to provide services/pricing for what is actually consumed, without committed volumes/rates based on what is deployed in the data center.
Moving to the cloud can be complex and if not done properly, costly. But it doesn’t need to be. Choosing a provider with experience is the first step.