After witnessing the catastrophic impact Hurricane Sandy had along the East Coast of the United States, organizations may feel more pressured to deploy cloud computing. While many public and federal agencies were still considering whether to migrate solutions to the cloud before the storm, Sandy may have been the straw that finally broke the camel’s back, according to a report by FCW.
Although the overall effect Sandy had on companies lined up the coast is still unknown, many federal CIOs believe newer data centers using cloud services may have survived the storm with fewer disruptions than those still dependent on legacy solutions.
“If [agencies] have sort of a weaker infrastructure, I would think [Sandy] would be a motivating factor,” said Gregg Bailey, director at Deloitte Consulting, according to FCW. “If they have a very solid infrastructure already established, I’m not sure it would make any difference.”
Cloud computing will not necessarily make an organization immune from natural disasters, but the technology will enable IT departments to quickly restore operations without much delay. This is because applications and information are hosted in off-site environments that may not have felt the full brunt of the storm.
In the past, decision-makers often relied on manual backups, which were often ineffective, according to a separate report by CRN. The cloud, on the other hand, provides organizations with more options as to how often resources are backed up and where they are stored.
Furthermore, since the cloud is cost effective, agencies can meet compliance and automate operations without impacting their IT budget too heavily.
The General Service Administration, for example, was able to ride out Sandy without too much problem because the agency had a robust cloud infrastructure, FCW reported.
“GSA’s cloud conversion prevented complications from the Verizon outage, which would have led to interruptions in these services for GSA users in New York and New Jersey,” said Casey Coleman, GSA CIO. “GSA also used the capabilities of the cloud email platform to perform emergency response and recovery functions.”
While it is not always possible to avoid natural or man-made disasters, decision-makers can be proactive and deploy cloud computing services in the data center to make it easier to recover in the wake of an emergency. This will give federal agencies a stronger reputation and make them more efficient in the long run.
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