Strategies & Solutions: A Platform for Cloud Evolution
State and local governments are accelerating technology modernization, and embracing cloud as a vital part of those efforts. In this Q&A, Celeste O’Dea, Oracle senior managing director of strategic programs for government and education, and William Sanders, Oracle director of strategic programs for government and education, discuss the ways in which a cloud platform can provide a solid foundation for enterprise adoption.
Sanders: First-generation clouds were based on serverless, elastic functionality, and only paying for what you use. Second-generation clouds enable the enterprise to replace on-premises data centers with a cloud deployment model that’s centered on being autonomous and secure and delivers built-in security, superior economics, scalability and availability.
As governments continue their cloud migration efforts, why is it so important to have the right platform in place?
O’Dea: We’re living in a hybrid and multi-cloud world, which is about connecting the best capabilities and services and making them frictionless, allowing you to use the right tools at the right time and have interoperability. Everything has to be underpinned with privacy, security, scalability, and openness and integration.
Sanders: It’s important to choose a platform that’s secure, responsive and that’s going to grow with the organization and ensure its long- term viability. Look at it like a house, where the modernizing features and functions rest above the foundation. If there are cracks in the foundation, everything you build on top of it is at risk.
How can cloud platforms help governments make better use of data?
Sanders: The crown jewel of government is data. Governments need to use it to make better decisions and move to a more predictive model, and this requires a modern data analytics toolset. Those tools need to include automation based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. That’s going to change how an agency experiences data and what they can do with it.
We’ve talked for years about leveraging data to drive decision-making. What’s changing is the ability to improve outcomes. Governments had been struggling with disparate sources and formats, but the right platform makes it easy to secure that data, access it and understand what the data’s telling you.
How should organizations think about getting started?
O’Dea: Any good project or enterprise undertaking begins with knowing where you are. You have to start with a frank and honest look at your enterprise. That doesn’t just mean the technology; it’s also looking at your human capital. Then think about the things you want to impact or change, and what you can do to get immediate returns. Cloud has created a paradigm where you can get much quicker ROI by taking on some more nimble projects, like deploying capabilities or standing up a chatbot.
So assess, then look at how you can execute in consumable pieces in a structured path forward that doesn’t take years to deliver on. Governments and educational institutions are accustomed to complex architectures. This is not a new paradigm for them.
Oracle offers integrated suites of applications plus secure, autonomous infrastructure in the Oracle Cloud. Learn more about Oracle for state and local government at oracle.com/stateandlocal.