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Orchestrating cloud migration requires a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach, especially when the systems or work processes in question pertain to sensitive, mission-critical instances like those of federal organizations related to the intelligence community (IC). Enterprises hoping to leverage the benefits of the cloud should first identify the feasibility potential of their cloud initiatives from standpoints that range across finance, security, ROI, time of implementation and most importantly, mission responsibility. As such, the need for an experienced solution provider is imperative. With their technology and strategic expertise across functional aspects such as cloud migration, system integration, security, and enterprise management and monitoring, Virginia-based NJVC has positioned themselves as a go-to entity for enterprises to ensure smooth transition and sustainment of their processes into the cloud environment. The company is a long-standing standard-tier consulting partner of the Amazon Partner Network (APN) and holds expertise in AWS, in addition to its capability of delivering solutions from other prominent cloud technology vendors.
In an interview with CIOApplications, Patrick O’Neil, the company’s president, shared with us his insights on what cloud adoption means to entities in the federal space and how NJVC strives to help its clients trace the most effective route in their cloud adoption endeavors.
In the light of your experience of catering to clients predominantly in the federal space, what are some of the challenges they face when it comes to cloud adoption?
Although migrating to the cloud has become a buzzword in the federal enterprise space, many agencies fail to assess what aspects of their workflow systems are actually worth shifting to the cloud. Also, given the classified nature and the type of information that our clients in DoD and IC verticals deal with, it goes without saying that data security is important. Also, process stability is another critical aspect for government organizations for whom downtime of mission-critical applications is unacceptable. Those are some of the biggest challenges out there today.
We do not assist our clients in cloud migration without ensuring that their systems are protected by robust security tools on whichever cloud platform they use. There are a lot of cyber protection tools that we put in place to make sure our clients fulfill their security mandates. On top of cloud services provided by the commercial cloud providers, we engineer and implement specific security layers that enable our clients to operate within the cloud environment in a proficient, secure manner. In addition to Amazon’s cloud service, we also deliver solutions around Microsoft Azure.
We do not assist our clients in cloud migration without ensuring that their systems are protected by robust security measures on whichever cloud platform they use, protecting data, sources and mission
We’ve developed a tool which enables us to assess different systems as to what the clients want to migrate into the cloud. It helps us to not only understand the impact of moving them off premises into the cloud, but also the financial savings they could see. In effect, we help identify if their systems need to be moved entirely to the cloud or if they should be leveraging a hybrid model, such that at the end of the day, their initiatives translate to cost-effectiveness without impacting their mission.
We walk through aspects of what their system does and how it functions; what the external interfaces and dependencies are out there for the system to work and deliver data and product. Also, we map a clear picture of what kind of security posture needs to be implemented either within a cloud service or specific to a system. After analyzing all these aspects through a Gartner based model, we gain a clear picture of what elements of the system need to be re-factored, re-coded or migrated with little change. From thereon, we create a migration plan that shows an immediate effect on ROIs with no impact to mission.
From a broader perspective, could you throw more light on the enterprise management and monitoring offerings NJVC delivers?
When it comes to enterprise management, our solutions help senior leaders achieve a bird’s-eye view of their entire infrastructure. They can understand what’s happening to each functional element of their system and can pinpoint the source of any discrepancy. There is also a technician’s layer where we can set different thresholds and monitor triggers so that we can be more proactive in terms of troubleshooting. Furthermore, we take an automated approach, wherein we start to see the trends and patterns in recurring problems from data analysis, and we can take corrective actions to eliminate the issue from happening in the future, without the need for a technician’s expertise and no impact to an agency’s productivity.
Please share with us the case-instance of a customer who was able to adopt a full-fledged cloud initiative successfully.
We had a client who wanted to venture into the cloud environment, but there were a lot of different stakeholders involved with different mission needs and varied opinions of cloud success. We carried out a detailed assessment of the various systems so that we could prioritize what would give them the greatest ROI for their migration. We created a standardized way of not only setting up a platform for them but also an integrated method of moving their applications and data into the cloud, in a strategic way as opposed to “running blindly” into the cloud with many systems all at once. It allowed us to run on a serial as well as a parallel path to accelerating the adoption into the cloud. As a result, they were able to reduce their maintenance costs by about 20 percent and their mission was never impacted.
In yet another instance, after we established cloud presence for a large federal customer, we had another federal agency approach us requesting a consultation to assist them with their cloud migration strategy which they used to establish a cloud migration roadmap.
How do you envision the future of NJVC from operational as well as expansion standpoints?
Our customer satisfaction rates have always been excellent. In our continued endeavor to bring the DoD, IC, and federal world into today’s cloud technologies, we are sharpening our edges on heightening the security aspects surrounding the data and systems that reside in the cloud.