By thinkon

Guiding Government agencies out of cloud analysis paralysis

“When there is a hill to climb, don’t think that waiting will make it smaller.”

― H. Jackson Brown, author

When you’re standing at the bottom of Mount Everest, putting off your ascent doesn’t shrink the mountain. The same is true of migrating to the cloud. When you’re on one end of a significant migration or IT modernization project, time won’t shrink the challenge you’re facing. In fact, with data accumulating minute-to-minute, your mountain gets exponentially larger, the longer you put off your climb. 

Most private sector organizations are already cloud-first or well on their way to becoming so. But for many government agencies, the Cloud Smart initiative seems daunting, often causing a sort of IT transformation paralysis. But while IT modernization projects can feel like an impossible task, they’re not. Like scaling Everest, you just need to partner with a trusted guide and then take it one step at a time.  

Modernization analysis paralysis 

“Thinking too much leads to paralysis by analysis. It’s important to think things through, but many use thinking as a means of avoiding action.”

― Robert Herjavec, author and business leader

Because IT modernization can seem overwhelming, many agencies get stuck in the planning and strategy stages. And inaction only exacerbates the situation. As time passes and the modernization remains unfinished, an already stressful situation only gets worse as agencies face pressure from the governing body; public demand for better service, capability, and experience; and escalating quantities of data.  

To further complicate matters, if an agency turns to a hyperscale cloud provider, they are often, to a large degree, left to create their own path forward—navigating a complex catalogue of services with no guarantee that the services will work together or in the way the agency needs them to. The complexity of piecing together solutions and services from a menu of hyperscale cloud offerings prolongs the planning and strategy stage and introduces unnecessary risk into the project.  

Unlike the hyperscale providers who boast of increasing variation in their solutions and services, ThinkOn has streamlined its catalogue, clearing the path to the best solution. We focus on what you want to achieve and neatly package everything you need to get there. Our approach simplifies the process, speeds up time-to-value, and reduces risk.

Moving through analysis paralysis into action

Mountaineers don’t ascend Everest in one day. They divide the climb into smaller trekking goals. Think of your IT modernization in the same terms. Total digital transformation is the peak, but modernization can (and should) occur through a series of smaller projects. Keep in mind that before the real ascent ever starts you must first make it to base camp—working with the right guides and ensuring a good foundation for your modernization. 

If you have fifty mission critical applications, does it make sense to modernize all of them? Probably not—and certainly not all at once. That’s why the government of Canada changed from a Cloud First strategy to a Cloud Smart strategy. You need to understand the landscape you’re working in and evaluate what can be moved to the cloud with the greatest ease and business value, and what is best served by remaining on-premises. 

Thinking in terms of smaller projects that modernize what I call “low hanging fruit” helps you overcome analysis paralysis and take action. With some quick wins under your belt—wins that deliver great outcomes for your organization—you build the confidence, comfort, and experience required to tackle the larger modernization projects. Starting small can not only help negate budget overruns but it will earn support with the critical decision makers in your organization—the ones you’ll need on your side when you undertake bigger projects. 

Some easy places to start could be data protection or Microsoft 365 backup. Or, perhaps, the lift and shift of an existing application into a cloud platform giving you the benefit of cloud economics, agility, and scalability. Remember to first review workloads, accounting for status and dependencies—factors that impact what applications can be lifted and shifted, or alternatively, what applications may need to be refactored or let run to end of life and replaced with cloud native solutions.  

Remember, you don’t need to reinvent the whole organization to get some significant progress. 

Keeping cloud costs in check 

Cost is one of the major drivers of moving to the cloud vs. making a capital investment. When a customer makes a capital investment, they are sizing the resource for what they’re going to need three to five years from now. That means spending money years before you need to.  

The cloud frees you to buy the resources you need today and adjust accordingly as your business grows and changes. You’re not tying up capital for what might happen, you’re using—and spending—as you consume. 

Yet migrating applications to a hyperscale cloud provider can be costly, and these costs are not always obvious at the outset. Costs escalate because it’s almost impossible to accurately determine exactly how, and to what extent, you will use the services. And once you’re locked into one of the big clouds, you’ll get an unpleasant surprise when ingress and egress data charges show up on your invoice—the kind of surprise that makes precise budgeting almost impossible. When you’re accountable to a tax-paying public, going over budget is not an option. 

The Canadian cloud difference 

For larger departments, it is likely that you are going to move to a multi-cloud strategy. ThinkOn should be one of those clouds. ThinkOn keeps risks and costs low and gives you cloud strategy capabilities that the hyperscale providers don’t. 

First, your data stays in Canada.  

ThinkOn is a proudly Canadian-owned and operated cloud solution provider. With cloud locations across Canada, we are the only Canadian cloud capable of offering data sovereignty to the Government of Canada. ThinkOn is PBMM certified and the Canadian VMware Sovereign Cloud partner.   

Second, being David in a world of Goliaths is a good thing for ThinkOn’s customers.  

ThinkOn is a smaller company. That doesn’t mean we are limited. It means we are able to provide a higher level of service and capabilities to our customers. When you require assistance, a specialist in Canada provides support. If you need to change a service we’re providing, you don’t need to go through a long chain of command to get it done. We are small enough to be quick and agile, yet large enough to provide the services you need. 

Third, ThinkOn’s billing is simple, transparent, and surprise-free. 

You and the taxpayers you serve should know exactly what you’re paying for. We’ll tell you the costs upfront—and that’s what you’ll see on your invoice. No hidden fees of any kind— ingress, egress, or otherwise.  

I could go on telling how great it is to work with ThinkOn, but you don’t have to take my word for it—our customer churn rate is well below industry standards, and that says something. If you’re planning to migrate applications to the cloud, we should talk. Let’s see what easy wins we can go after. Together, we can get you from base camp to the summit of your digital transformation.  

Reach out today, and let’s talk about your next migration.

Contact: Bob Koblovsky
ThinkOn, Senior Client Solutions Executive
Phone : 613.451.5539