Embracing Cloud for a Promising Tomorrow

David Shive, CIO, GSA
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David Shive, CIO, GSA

David Shive, CIO, GSA

1) How do you see cloud computing transforming governance, and how have you embraced it?

With proven results in the form of greater ROI, cloud computing is witnessing rampant adoption by both the corporate and government organizations. However, the institutions undergoing the paradigm shift through cloud adoption have to be diligent in their planning. Fundamentally, an organization must have a strong leadership that is willing to embrace the change in their internal IT architecture. Along with the CIO, the entire C-suite of the organization should be equally involved to make the difficult choices in the process. Any failure in prepping the leadership to recognize the challenges would affect the organizational change management, which may prove costly to the organization. Once an organization is willing to embrace the change, it is vital to take on board the right solution provider to complete the cloud migration process. The solution provider should be at the leading edge of cloud technology, enabling swift transformation to clients through their expertise. Moreover, the migration should be carefully planned in a way that supports the organization to deliver the desired experiences for the users and customers alike.

2) What are your thoughts on getting the cloud adoption right in order to deliver e-governance effectively?

Before moving to cloud, it is advisable for the organizations to consolidate their data and technology best practices to avoid unnecessary duplication of tasks. To elucidate, we have consolidated the enterprise workflow, document management system, email system, as well as the helpdesks before moving to the cloud. Earlier, we had 18 helpdesks running on various platforms within the organization. We soon realized that managing diverse platforms consumed a lot of resources, costly dearly to the organization. Identifying the best performing helpdesk, we quickly consolidated our helpdesk system before migrating it to the cloud, which eventually helped us to streamline our operations. Aware of the fact the modern users are tech-savvy who tend to resolve many of their technical issues through little help, we modeled our helpdesk to facilitate self-help by creating a self-help ecosystem. This enabled the users with access to the resources they needed to fix the issues on their own. Through self-help option, we reduced the number of queries by 80 percent. The customers could now reset the password on their own, without the assistance of the advisor. We automated our helpdesk service to address the complex customer issues, resulting in improved customer satisfaction.

3) Tell us about your approach in ensuring security of the data and systems.

One of the major concerns that organizations have while adopting a new technology is—security. To prevent security threats, we avoid doing business with enterprises who fail to meet a benchmark during security checks that we have in place during our initial assessment. This helps us safeguard data and ensure privacy through a standardized approach. Citizen privacy has been our mantra for the past 80 years, and we make sure to operate business securely, allowing only authorized parties to access the resources.

4) With your rich experience of managing IT organization and steering technology for enterprises, can you please share some of the unique lessons learned and your advice for the fellow CIOs?

As a CIO, I believe integrity is critical for any organization. A leader has to be honest and convincing when interacting with employees and peers. Any shortcomings in these areas will deem the leader, ineligible for the leader’s role. With focus on enabling transparency, we are working on monitoring the investments. Along with the strong values, we aim to equip ourselves with quality data for better decision making.

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