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Agencies: Are You Ready to Migrate to the Cloud?

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Over the past several years, federal agencies have developed strategies to modernize their IT infrastructure, including moving operations to the cloud. An effective cloud migration strategy ensures agencies address the resources, processes, and tools required to make the move and support cloud-based operations going forward. To guide agencies through migration preparation, the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) Program Management Office (PMO) has published a new white paper for federal agencies, Cloud Readiness: Preparing Your Agency for Migration, outlining strategies agencies can use to support the move to the cloud.

The DCOI PMO has identified common challenges and best practices often encountered during cloud adoption, and aims to help agencies understand and mitigate these challenges when developing their own migration plans. This white paper can help agencies understand a range of  considerations, such as addressing security needs, and conducting inventories throughout the enterprise before initiating migration within a cloud environment.

Backed by open-source research and interviews with agencies and industry professionals, DCOI has organized these findings into two areas:

  • Aligning Resources and Building Capacity

Staff buy-in is critical to cloud migration success, as agencies may need to realign resources to develop and integrate institutional knowledge of data center management. DCOI provides recommendations such as applying change management principles to support staff during the transition. One such tip suggests working with vendors to draft messaging to staff that explains how their roles will change post-migration. As staff capacity builds, the likelihood of a successful migration increases, and agencies can take full advantage of their new cloud environment.

  • Engaging Vendors

Understanding the different services provided by cloud vendors is key to selecting the best solution. Consider factors such as capacity and expertise when working with vendors. For example, if an agency requires a vendor to be on-site to support the migration, will the vendor need to be reimbursed for travel costs? Once an agency has clearly articulated and documented requirements based on their unique IT environment, they are more likely to find the right vendor to meet their needs.

If you have a federal email address and OMB MAX ID, you can read the full Cloud Readiness: Preparing Your Agency for Migration [pdf] paper on the MAX-based DCOI Knowledge Portal. For help developing your own agency cloud readiness plan, contact the DCOI PMO at dcoi@gsa.gov. Find other helpful resources at gsa.gov/dcoi.

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