Federal agencies have been mandated to move to the cloud, but there are still obstacles to overcome, and for many the move can be daunting. CIOs face an array of challenges in making the transition; from worries about data security to budget and resource concerns, the task requires a concerted effort on multiple fronts. Even with the Cloud First and Cloud Smart policies and the creation of FedRAMP, which provides a standardized approach to security and risk assessment in the cloud, adoption continues to be slower in the public sector than private sector. The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) Scorecard reports on cloud readiness capabilities, and while many agencies are working to improve their scores, many still have a long way to go.

Sirius Federal’s Bridge to the Cloud strategy offers a comprehensive, long-term plan that mitigates risk and ensures a smooth transition to a multicloud environment.

Our approach

Migrating to the cloud requires upfront planning and a well-defined strategy. Having a roadmap lets CIOs focus on the outcomes while keeping in mind the many benefits the transition will ultimately present. To temper risk and provide peace of mind, we offer a Bridge to the Cloud migration strategy that allows federal agencies to begin their transition with a private cloud within their own environment. This starting point allows them to stage the migration in a controlled way, troubleshooting and safeguarding their assets before making the move to a public environment.

Cloud migration strategy

Our phased approach to cloud migration follows a proven methodology that enables agencies to make the gradual transition to the cloud, whether they choose to go the private route or to move directly to the public cloud. This methodology stresses preparedness and is rigorously holistic to provide the smoothest possible journey for agencies. Follow these six steps to migrate your existing applications to the cloud:

  • Assess: We start with a comprehensive assessment of your applications. Not all applications are created equal; some will be viable for a transition, and some will not. In our assessment, we identify which applications will need to be modified to fit the demands of the future cloud environment.
  • Prioritize: Next, we prioritize apps for migration based on the agency’s needs, their ease of migration, and which will require modifications.
  • Roadmap: We then develop a cloud migration roadmap for the agency’s assets based on the life cycle of each application. The roadmap takes into consideration the path each component will follow to be assimilated into the new environment, and shows how all components of the applications will migrate to the cloud.
  • Prepare and modernize: With that roadmap in hand, agencies are empowered to determine if migration should begin with the applications ready for the transition, or if legacy applications should be modernized first. We then begin preparing and optimizing the applications to run in the cloud. Transitioning to the cloud presents the opportunity for agencies to hit the reset button on their IT stack. While cloud-first is a crucial part of modernization, it’s far from the only piece. Since the transition requires a reassessment of applications and assets, it is a great time to begin implementing a cohesive, compliant system that positions the agency for success in years to come.
  • Build: This is where the work begins on all the applications that were categorized under refactor, and often under re-host. Based on the initial assessment, legacy applications and/or pieces of an application that aren’t cloud-ready are rebuilt and modernized so they can run in the cloud. This is also the step where agencies replace legacy applications that need to run in the cloud but can’t be migrated, either by buying an off-the-shelf solution or by building a modern application from scratch.
  • Migrate: Once the applications and workloads are ready, we begin migrating them to the agency’s cloud environment. When migration begins, the Bridge to the Cloud approach introduced earlier is highly recommended. This cloud migration strategy offers minimal risk and helps technology teams get comfortable working in a cloud environment. It also serves as a testing ground to ensure that the application and all its parts are truly cloud-ready and work as intended in a cloud environment.

Hybrid cloud—the best of both worlds

Once IT teams migrate and test workloads to make sure they are working as expected in the private cloud environment, they can decide to move the applications to a public cloud or keep them in their private cloud. A hybrid cloud approach—where some applications will remain in the private cloud while others can be migrated to the public cloud—is often the best choice for federal agencies. Agencies could also choose a multicloud approach, meaning applications would be stored in several different public cloud providers as well as located in their private cloud. Once the application is cloud-ready and running inside a container, it is easy to move from one cloud environment to another, making the choice of keeping it private or public strictly up to each agency’s needs and requirements.

Let us help accelerate your cloud journey

As with anything, success doesn’t happen overnight. For cloud migration to be successful, agencies must first develop a strategy and build a migration plan. Every step in the cloud migration process takes time and resources. For agencies that are already stretched thin maintaining day-to-day operations, turning to a service provider to support some or all of the steps to cloud migration can be cost-effective, save time, and deliver significant benefits to the agency.

Sirius Federal can work with your agency through every step of the process, from assessing needs to creating the journey maps to building the applications that need to be migrated. We also train IT teams to ensure success in the cloud through migration and beyond. Contact Sirius Federal’s team of certified cloud engineers to discuss your cloud migration questions and needs.

About the Author: Pete Poudel
Pete Poudel, cloud architect at Sirius Federal
Email: [email protected]

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