Governments have lost $1 billion in potential savings through inefficient server management, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

As citizen expectations increase, many local government agencies face mounting pressures to quickly adopt new digital strategies in a bid to save money and increase efficiency. From the largest city to the smallest village, it is critical that local government agencies have an effective method for storing their mountains of data. But the perceived arduous task and cost of transferring data centers and servers to newer, more streamlined platforms is preventing many government agencies from making the move toward consolidation. As a result, many governments are spending a significant chunk of their limited time and resources repairing and maintaining a vast network of legacy servers and other digital infrastructure.

The trick to saving time and money as a government agency is to transfer systems to cloud-hosted platforms. By making the switch to the cloud, local government agencies are freed from having to manage the onsite servers that run their day-to-day applications. Using the collected data becomes easier as well. The cloud enables data to be accessed more efficiently by identifying critical infrastructure and the most often used systems and functions, enabling agencies to focus more on how to utilize the power of the data to enact proactive change instead of dwelling on where to find it and how it’s stored. Agencies can allocate more time, manpower and valuable resources on other priorities and initiatives, like fixing traffic flow and expediting payment processes for citizens.

Here are the 5 benefits local agencies gain right away when they transfer the management of their data to cloud-hosted platforms:

  1. Decrease in operational costs – Local government agencies that leverage cloud-hosted platforms see their operational costs decrease because there is no longer a need to invest in additional hardware or spend on maintaining and managing the new cloud server. The cloud vendor takes care of the hardware and software maintenance to keep the servers running.
  2. Streamlined workforce – When an organization’s servers are managed through cloud-hosted platforms, that frees up staff from having to spend time repairing and maintaining the software or from having to hire additional IT professionals. There is no late-night, weekend or holiday work for the agency’s IT department to keep the servers operational and running. However, they will still have to manage their own networks which they run for in-house use and connectivity, like email.
  3. Latest updates – When transferring servers to cloud-hosted platforms, agencies no longer have to worry about keeping up with evolving industry standard compliance. The cloud infrastructure takes care of the updates that include annual completion of things like SSAE18/ISAE Data Center Audit, SSAE18 Operations Audit, PCI-DSS Compliance Audit, Vulnerability Testing & CVSS Audit and Control Self-Assessment Audit. 
  4. Growing to scale – As a local government agency grows and requires more features, or if it needs to retire features it no longer needs, cloud-managed servers provide sufficient server capacity to meet the reasonable performance requirements for the number of concurrent system users. Additionally, agencies can avoid the cost of unused storage space or unused features. This flexibility allows for more agility and adaptability to address changing needs in the community much more quickly.
  5. Security – Cloud-hosted platforms are more secure than standalone servers. With the sheer number of cyber threats that government agencies face, it is more important than ever for agencies to stay ahead of this risk with the latest in server security. Agencies looking to make the switch should look for vendors that perform third-party internal, external, perimeter vulnerability and penetration testing in order to safeguard data.   

There is no need for local governments to be overwhelmed by their hardware. Managing an agency server on the cloud is a viable option for keeping an organization running at peak performance and ensuring the long-term health of a local government’s digital infrastructure.