State and local government organizations in the U.S. face daunting IT challenges as they look to improve service delivery while controlling costs. Key obstacles they face are a reliance on older IT systems, lack of skilled employees and inadequate budgets. IT modernization and cloud computing offer answers to these challenges and state and local agencies have become increasingly comfortable with the public cloud for certain areas like email. However, public sector agencies aren’t completely forsaking on-prem infrastructure, and with good reason. Public cloud services have not been the answer for all of state and local government’s computing needs for wide range of reasons discussed below. What these organizations or agencies need is choice and the ability to choose the infrastructure environment that best meets their needs.
Whether they choose to deploy an application or manage a workload in the public cloud or private cloud depends on many factors including performance, security, availability, manageability, and scalability. One factor that tends to sway agencies toward the public cloud is cost. In a recent survey of agencies conducted by GCN, public cloud adoption has grown in state and local government with agencies turning to public cloud services more than they did three years ago. A major driver for moving to the public cloud is financial and at the top of the list is OpEx and cost efficiency which has been driving the adoption of public cloud services, heavily leaning on the pay-only-for-what-you-use model.
While there is a shift to the public cloud, that does not mean it is a one-size-fits-all solution for state and local governments. According to the GCN survey, agencies have many compelling reasons for staying on-premises. The top reason for keeping IT resources on-premises is that many applications handle sensitive information. Other reasons include the need to host highly specialized applications and a requirement for highly secure data storage.
A key question is which applications and workloads are agencies moving to the public cloud and which are remaining (or moving back to!) on-premises/private cloud? According to the GCN survey, agencies are generally in favor of moving functions like office applications, content management, e-mail, and messaging to public cloud platforms. They are on the fence about big data and advanced analytics, and are resolutely in favor of keeping ERP, batch workloads, transactional workloads, and critical database clusters on-premises.
Agencies are also laser-focused on realizing IT cost-savings for taxpayers and Nutanix is leading the way here. Nutanix drives a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) for the majority of enterprise applications that have predictable demand characteristics. An August 2017, IDC Report1 found that organizations running various enterprise workloads on Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform realized significant value with Nutanix as a cost-effective, efficient, and business-enabling IT platform built on hyperconverged infrastructure. IDC calculated that their study participants will achieve average annual benefits of a five-year return on investment (ROI) of 534%. This is due to Nutanix serving as a cost-effective IT platform; requiring less IT staff time to deploy, manage, and support; providing an agile, scalable, and high-performing IT platform; and enabling improved business results and higher user productivity.
The ‘tale from the trail’ also reveals an interesting story. The NASCIO annual conference gives state CIOs and members of their staff the opportunity to come together with service providers for education and networking. NASCIO held their most recent annual conference in early October in Austin, Texas and the discussion on choice and cost savings continues to be front and center for CIOs. CIOs shared real-world experiences on how going all-in with public cloud is not the answer. One reason is because it doesn’t afford them the control needed when problems inevitably arise and they find themselves sitting in a queue when IT production and operations are down.
In the end, what it comes down to is choice, and providing agencies with the options they need. Ultimately, agencies need a unified IT operating environment that seamlessly melds their public and private cloud environments. Nutanix Enterprise Cloud delivers the simplicity, agility and fractional IT consumption benefits of public cloud, with the control and security needed in the enterprise datacenter by leveraging the industry’s most popular hyperconverged software, running across all platforms — NX, OEMs, validated servers — as reported by analysts like IDC on marketshare to deliver any application with one-click simplicity and providing the foundation for a multi-cloud architecture.
Continue the conversation on the Nutanix community and join IT Pro’s collaborating, learning and defining a new era with an Enterprise Cloud that bridges the gap between traditional infrastructure and public cloud services.
1 IDC White Paper | Nutanix Delivering Strong Value as a Cost-Effective, Efficient, Scalable Platform for Enterprise Applications, August 2017.
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