Cloud helps organizations focus on the important parts of their mission, rather than wasting their time on maintenance and compliance, according to Peter Cutts, senior vice president of hybrid cloud platforms at Dell EMC.
Cutts described an imagined “value line” between the actions that better an organization and those that simply keep up with compliance. He said that while the former is an important focus for agency mission, the latter often wastes time and resources. Cutts spoke July 12 at the Federal Focus: The Cloud Generation event presented by Government Acquisitions Inc. and produced by MeriTalk.
“Having to manage all that and going below the value line is what’s actually been distracting companies for years, because, again, the industry required it,” said Cutts. “Is a bank going to become a better institution by effectively choosing a server type?”
Cutts said that such a bank may find a small amount of improvement in choosing that new server, but that it requires a lot of time from bank personnel that could be working on more mission-critical projects.
“It’s really all about helping customers focus above that value line, focus on mission, focus on programs, focus there, as opposed to right now, where most of the focus is on the componentry and making it even stick together,” said Cutts. “Make sure that work below is handled by another partner or, again, technology, and that’s really what this is all about.”
According to Cutts, cloud also provides advantages in ensuring security without much effort from the organization. He explained that within about 90 days, most software becomes “end of life” in that it is significantly more vulnerable to hacks than before the 90-day window. The automation provided by cloud means that updates to the platform and auditing checks can happen at that pace and without the organization having to do much.
“Why is this better? Focus above the value line, developers are getting the latest access to the latest features, they’re making the most progress against their applications and code, and they’re not focused on the components that make this up,” Cutts said.
However, Cutts said that when shifting an agency over to a commercial cloud service provider, one of the hardest transitions is often with the people within the organization.
“The hardest piece can be people, and the operational changes,” said Cutts, explaining that people have to shift from provisioning storage, processing, IP address, etc., for their own organization to allowing a system to make those changes. “That is revolutionary.”
Overall, Cutts said, these cloud movements are really about “making the complex simple.”