Making Hybrid IT work in the public sector

Posted: 2 December 2017
Hybrid IT

Hybrid IT – the combination of cloud-based and on-premise assets - is growing rapidly in popularity, especially in the public sector.

A report by U.S-based consultancy, SolarWinds, leverages insights from public sector IT practitioners, managers and directors to indicate that, in the U.S at least, the vast majority of government agencies have shifted away from on-premises-only infrastructure to hybrid IT environments - creating new concerns and pressures for IT professionals in the process. 1

According to this report:

  • Nearly all (92%) of the IT professionals surveyed say adopting cloud technologies is important to their organisations’ long-term business success and nearly a quarter (23 percent) say it is extremely important.
  • Only 41% estimate that half or more of their organisations’ total IT infrastructure will be in the cloud within the next 3-5 years.
  • 62% say it is unlikely that all of their organisations’ infrastructure will ever be migrated to the cloud.
  • Overall, only 8% say their organisations have not migrated any infrastructure to the cloud, compared to 13 percent in 2015.

While hybrid IT certainly affords government entities far more flexibility and innovation, it can also increase administrative overheads, and raise questions in terms of security and compliance. With hybrid IT, technology professionals are faced with a double-edged sword: the increase in efficiency through cloud services can also mean added work in ensuring critical systems, databases and applications are secure.

Here in Australia, while the public sector is starting to appreciate the significant benefits of the cloud, any cloud-based IT infrastructure used by government departments must meet strict compliance, security and customisation criteria.

Andrew McGalliard, Director of ICT strategy and policy at the Australian Finance Department’s Digital Transformation Agency, says, “Cloud has a lot to offer government. Greater data storage capacity, cost savings, convenience and increased flexibility for running ICT services are just a few potential benefits.”

However, he also adds that “for government to get real value and efficiencies from using cloud we need to go further to ensure government has the skills, knowledge and confidence to manage secure cloud services.”2

How Azure Stack and AC3 can help

Thankfully, with the launch of Azure Stack in Australia, government departments and organisations can approach hybrid IT – and cloud-based infrastructure - in a new way; enjoying all of the flexibility and agility of cloud development – yet in on-premise environments.

In 2017, through a strategic partnership with Canberra Data Centres (CDC), Microsoft became the only major cloud provider in Australia to deliver cloud services to handle unclassified and protected government data. In an article about the new CDC, Microsoft highlights the additional security provided by Azure Stack - saying, “for those higher levels of classification, such as secret or top secret data, or services that need to operate in a deployed environment, customers and partners can leverage the recently announced Azure Stack for a consistent hybrid cloud experience.” 3

In June 2017, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) gave its tick of approval to an additional 36 services from Microsoft Azure (plus 10 from Office 365) for unclassified dissemination limiting marker (DLM) use, which allows for the storing of sensitive government data. This means Microsoft now has 50 services across Azure and Office 365 available for adoption by Australian government organisations. 4

Also, when you choosing AC3 as your managed services partner, your government department or organisation can enjoy 24/7 support and overall enhanced reliability.

AC3 is Australian owned and operated, and we believe in partnering with both public and private sector clients to deliver superior experiences. We always deliver on our promises and we go the extra mile because we love what we do.

Servicing government agencies is a part of our DNA, as we were once part of the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation cluster. We are not only an anchor tenant in GovDC; but we are also the largest Microsoft Partner in the data centre, servicing a range of agencies. We've got all of the accreditations and approvals in place, which makes it simple and easy for you to work with us.

Contact us to learn more

To learn more about Azure Stack and how it can help you transform your business, contact us at AC3 on 02 9199 0888 or