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Why government agencies should move DevTest to the cloud

Like virtually every other data-driven enterprise today, Canadian government agencies face the perennial challenge of doing more with less to serve their constituents. And like the rest of the world, this is inevitably leading agencies to review how they are consuming IT and supporting applications, and if they are better off with a public cloud alternative for some workloads.

One of the key use cases for government enterprises is the deployment of non-mission-critical environments on the cloud. Leading the list are DevTest operations that can take advantage of the cloud’s speed, agility, and cost-savings without leading to worries about data theft and security.

From finite to infinite

In a traditional data center environment, deploying DevTest requires considerable resource consumption and that means the finite data center’s already overloaded systems must be diverted away from production workloads to activities that may or may not have equal value. In most cases, even getting the go-ahead from IT to support a project is a time-consuming process, to the point where the functionality being tested and deployed may no longer be as valuable today as it was yesterday.

But even once the DevTest environment has been created, smooth sailing is not guaranteed. The relationship between testing and development has always been, well, testy. While developers recognize that releasing bad code is not in their interests, it is never pleasant to hand a product off to someone whose job it is to break it. The test team, meanwhile, can’t understand why dev places such a premium on elegant coding but not on how it plays in the real world. In a traditional data environment, these differences are exacerbated because each team works independently from one another using old-school, linear processes.

Migrating these tasks to the cloud solves a number of problems. First, since all resources in the cloud have been virtualized, environments can be created and decommissioned with ease, giving teams much greater flexibility to complete their tasks. The cloud also maintains much lower cost ratios than the traditional data center, as resources can be provisioned at the exact amount as needed with no upfront capital costs.

As well, dev and test teams can work in a more unified fashion in the cloud, sharing the basic environment to act in a more collaborative manner than the assembly-line approach of the past. This can significantly shorten development times and lead to a far more resilient and user-friendly result.

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Top-notch tech

The cloud is also ready to go with state-of-the-art infrastructure and services which follows an upgrade trajectory that is vastly more advanced than a privately owned and operated data center. Deploying new hardware is costly and time-consuming, which means government agencies are becoming increasingly reliant on aging infrastructure that is simply incapable of meeting the needs of a modern digital ecosystem. Cloud providers, however, are always looking to outdo one another, so maintaining the latest and greatest infrastructure capabilities represents a worthwhile investment, not a support burden.

In addition, many agencies must operate within strict compliance and regulatory requirements when it comes to managing data and applications in third-party environments. This is understandable given the sensitive nature of personal identification data and other information that the government has at its responsibility. By utilizing the cloud for non-critical functions, such as DevTest, however, organizations gain the benefits of virtually unlimited and highly available resources, which frees up space in the expensive, production-grade data center, for more sensitive functions.

For all forward-thinking government departments, speed and agility will remain the two primary attributes when assigning workloads to infrastructure. Now that taxpayers have become accustomed to getting what they want when they want it from private industry, expectations for similar experiences from all levels of government are rising.

By moving non-critical, back-office operations to the cloud, government ministries and agencies will be able to speed up their internal processes even as they improve service to the public and at a dramatically lower cost.

Learn how OnX Canada can help your organization enable a digital transformation in our Application and Infrastructure Modernization infosheet.

Download our eBook for more information on how OnX Canada can help your agency’s transition to the cloud.