It appears once again that the 20/20 vision of hindsight has made its presence felt.
Among the many tests put forth by Hurricane Sandy, one was the ability of government agency IT systems to handle the network complications of natural disasters. As some federal CIO’s observed, only new cloud computing IT infrastructures were equipped to ride out this storm.
Many agencies who had already adopted cloud computing into their IT systems, were able to survive the storm without network disruption thanks to their geographically dispersed data centers. CIO Casey Coleman of the early cloud adopters General Services Administration (GSA), noted that GSA’s IT systems were fully operational throughout the storm, thanks to the cloud infrastructure’s ability for data centers to be spread out over a thousand miles. Compromised East Coast datacenters were no issue as back up, redundant data centers outside of the storms radius picked up the slack. The structures allowed over 4,000 employees in affected areas to telework and maintain agency operations.
Agencies still following the old IT style of having data centers in-house and backups nearby, saw the vulnerability of their out-dated system when the coastal, encompassing storm hit. It has been over two weeks since the storm hit and we continue to receive automated messages from government employees whose agencies are still shut down or experiencing network issues. It seems that this amount of damage and time lost was not even in foresight before. These prolonged disruptions reinforce the hindsight revelation that outage preventability through dispersed data systems could serve as the ideal motivation to push agencies to jump into the cloud.
About Kevin Lancaster
Kevin Lancaster leads Winvale’s corporate growth strategies in both the commercial and government markets. He develops and drives solutions to meet Winvale’s business goals while enabling an operating model to help staff identify and respond to emerging trends that affect both Winvale and the clients it serves. He is integrally involved in all aspects of managing the firm’s operations and workforce, leading efforts to improve productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction.
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