Wyoming sees major cloud computing success

When it comes to government cloud integration efforts, federal agencies typically receive the bulk of the attention. However, it is important to note that state governments are also eagerly moving to take advantage of cloud solutions in a wide range of capacities. One key example of this trend and the positive impact it can deliver can be found in Wyoming. As Marketplace Tech recently highlighted, Wyoming has made significant strides toward achieving robust cloud integration.

Cloud services in Wyoming
The news source reported that by embracing the cloud, Wyoming has seen major gains in terms of both its IT performance and cost-efficiency. Flint Waters, chief information officer for the state, noted that by working with a cloud services provider, Wyoming now can take advantage of a level of IT talent that would otherwise remain unavailable. Furthermore, it is much more efficient for the state to make the most of already in-place cloud services than to start its own IT operations from scratch, he explained.

"When it comes time to put together a bunch of new trucks for our fleet, we don't say, 'Let's put together a factory and assemble trucks.' We look at GM, Ford, Chrysler. And this is a very similar paradigm," said Waters, according to Marketplace Tech.

The results of this move to the cloud have been quite significant, the CIO added.

"We are getting higher quality servers, higher quality data protection," said Waters, the news source reported. "So it's more economical for us, but it's also far more bang for the buck."

The superior cost-efficiency is due largely to the as-a-service nature of cloud computing. Rather than paying for expensive hardware up front that would likely go underutilized, the government can only pay for the data storage and other services it needs, as it needs them. The state also no longer needs to maintain its IT services to the same degree, as this responsibility falls to the cloud provider.

Security concerns
One of the possible obstacles to broader cloud adoption, both in Wyoming and other states, is the issue of cybersecurity. The source noted that many state decision-makers are worried about maintaining compliance with privacy regulations during and after the cloud integration process. Many leaders worry that moving government IT assets to an off-site data center may put that information at risk of loss or exposure.

However, Waters argued that cloud services are no less secure than governments themselves. 

"Folks say, 'It's more secure because I control the server.' Well, yeah, but I can pick it up and walk out to my car with it. And that citizen data isn't secure anymore," he told the news source.

Countless IT experts have noted that cloud service providers are typically more, not less, secure than traditional computing standards. Yet it is true that there are risks involved in the cloud adoption process. Governments at the state, federal and even local level that are interested in cloud computing must therefore partner with high-quality, reliable third parities that can help oversee and guide the adoption process through every stage, ensuring that data remains safe and compliant at all times.