By Omar Rafik, SolarWinds Senior Manager, Federal Sales Engineering

 

Here’s another interesting article with suggestions about how agencies might approach legacy application modernization and cloud adoption using MGT Act funds. Picking the “best” apps and systems will certainly increase success rates, and SolarWinds systems and applications management tools provide data and reports to support your decision making.

 

The Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act was passed in late 2017 to provide government agencies with IT-focused financial resources and technical expertise to replace legacy infrastructure. The goal of the MGT Act is to “allow agencies to invest in modern technology solutions to improve service delivery to the public, secure sensitive systems and data, and save taxpayer dollars.”

 

With extra IT funds, where will agencies spend that money?

 

It seems logical that agencies should use MGT funds to begin their cloud migration if they haven’t done so already, or to speed up the process of moving systems and applications to the cloud.

 

Yet, as a federal IT pro, how do you know which systems to migrate and which should stay on-premises?

 

Best Choice Apps for Cloud Migration

 

There are four primary things to consider:

 

  1. Size
  2. Complexity
  3. Criticality to the mission
  4. Variable usage

 

Size

 

Look at the amount of data your application is accumulating and the amount of storage it’s taking up. Lots of data and storage space can equal lots of money on databases and storage systems.

 

Agencies can save money in two ways when moving that data into the cloud. First, think of the reduced maintenance costs. Second, with a cloud environment you’re only paying for what you use, which means you can add storage capacity on the fly if you need to or, just as important, remove storage you no longer need.

 

Complexity

 

Consider keeping your most complex applications on-premises until you’ve already undergone some application migration and understand the ins and outs of the process.

 

When considering complexity, think not only about the application itself, but think about its dependencies, connections, and associations. The more that application relies on or connects to other systems, the more complex it will be to migrate.

 

Criticality to the Mission

 

Save the most mission-critical applications for last or keep them on-premises. Think about development or staging environments and applications, disaster recovery systems, and many human-resources applications. This way, if there is a glitch in your migration, the agency will continue operating without interruption.

 

Another point worth making: home-grown applications may be far more complex to migrate and may be best off staying on-premises.

 

Variable Usage

 

Perhaps the area where federal IT pros can get the most bang for their buck in migrating to the cloud is in “bursty” applications. Think about applications that get heavy use during very specific time periods, such as during the tax season.

 

The challenge with keeping these types of applications on-premises is needing to have resources at the ready for these heavy-use periods—resources that otherwise can go unused. This is precisely what makes them ideal for cloud migration.

 

Consider, too, the applications that require batch processing for the very same reasons.

 

Conclusion

 

The MGT Act is good news for federal IT pros, giving them the opportunity to move their infrastructure forward. For many agencies, cloud and hybrid IT may be the ideal place to start.

 

Find the full article on Government Technology Insider.

 

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