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Federal agencies are increasingly turning to cloud technologies to drive their digital modernization initiatives, with many looking to AWS and, specifically GovCloud for their secure cloud solutions. While the value of cloud computing and the ability to leverage modern technologies have been firmly established, the actual migration is a complex process that requires careful planning and execution.

During my career, there has been one constant when it comes to successful cloud migration projects – a unique driving force spurring an agency forward.

An agency’s cloud migration plans must be grounded in specific goals and objectives instead of a simple desire to move to the cloud. Because there are so many potential avenues and paths to take during migration, that driving force is critical to determining the best course of action.

For example, a key driving force for many agencies is the impact that legacy or outdated technology is having on their infrastructure and their ability to deliver government services. Negative consequences from legacy technology, such as product outages, unsustainable apps, or escalating costs, are all potential driving forces for a cloud migration.

Identifying the driving force is imperative because it serves as an opportunity to rally your team around the cloud migration project and get everyone working in the same direction. It’s the classic push vs. pull scenario, where the goal is to get the right people on board with the project as quickly as possible and use that energy to power a cloud migration.

The driving force – whether it’s related to cost, services offered, technology implementation, or all of the above – is the fundamental beginning of mapping out a cloud migration strategy because it directly impacts every aspect.

At Maximus, we work closely with our agency partners to detail a specific cloud strategy that works for them because each situation is unique.

Once that driving force is identified and well communicated, Maximus and the agency work together to map their journey to a secure cloud, like AWS GovCloud, by addressing the following:

  • Change Management: Make sure executives and leaders are aligned with the cloud migration strategy, with clearly communicated objectives and benefits of this critical component of modernization.
  • Upskilling / Training: Training and upskilling existing staff to understand the various complexities of this new cloud environment.
  • Budget Considerations: There’s an increased cost to continue operating multiple infrastructures while migrating – one on-premises and one in the cloud.  Keeping in mind the “migration bubble”, or the duration of time when costs for operating all necessary resources for cloud migration are at a peak, is critical.
  • Integration: Cloud migration requires integrating other systems and applications. Agencies should consider interdependencies, such as data, security and compliance, and operational processes, to reduce the risk of potential disruptions and ensure a smooth transition.

A cloud migration project is not easy, but it is a crucial part of a digital transformation journey. To make the process as smooth as possible, it’s necessary to understand from the beginning what the driving force for cloud migration is. Like the North Star, the driving force will guide how the migration should be done and the resources necessary to ensure its success.

And lastly, know that you don’t have to embark on this migration journey on your own. There are AWS partners with a track record of success, like Maximus, who are experienced with AWS products and services, that provide a powerful partnership to federal agencies seeking to unlock the full potential of the cloud.

To learn more about how together, Maximus and AWS are helping our customers accelerate their cloud migration journey, visit: