In the digital age, an organization is only as efficient as the technology on which it relies. When it comes to Federal agencies, it is even more necessary to keep all tech resources up to date with the latest developments, to ensure maximum efficiency and security. This often means that government agencies are constantly spending on updating both software and hardware. The Federal government spends over $80 billion a year on IT, almost half (43%) of Federal IT projects are reported as either over budget or behind schedule.

One of the main problems that government agencies face is the digital dilemma between where government organizations are forced to spend their time and money, and where they want to spend it — essentially, the conflict that arises when agencies are laden with the responsibility to maintain  existing legacy systems versus investing in and implementing new cloud solutions.

Getting stuck on the former can harm the effectiveness of an organization and reduce overall efficiency, not to mention the high cost of maintaining outdated systems. Of the $89 billion in Federal IT spending planned for fiscal year 2017, over 70% is set to be spent on operating and maintaining existing IT systems. A large chunk of this is directed to supporting its data centers, which require funds for hardware and software, facilities, and salaries of employees.

Furthermore, many Federal CIOs point to their agency’s dated or even obsolete IT infrastructure as a roadblock to meeting the rise in  citizen and employee expectations. With all of this in mind, it makes sense for agencies to move forward with cloud technology.

While cloud has proven its value and reliability in nearly every major industry, it is still massively underused when it comes to Federal IT. Federal agencies are projected to spend just $2 billion on cloud computing services, out of a total of $80 billion--2,5%-- in IT spending in 2016 . Yet there are innumerable benefits that come from using cloud solutions for Federal IT.
The first is in tackling the aforementioned high cost of maintaining old hardware. Cloud solutions in Federal IT can save both time and money by reducing expenditures related to updating old infrastructure, maintaining data centers, or adding new sites. Additionally, in many situations better security can be provided — a recent survey showed that 65% of IT leaders were confident that external cloud storage was either equally or more secure than internal systems . This is often due to the fact that providers have more resources to expend specifically on the latest security updates, for example the best data encryption and more secure email.

In addition to these benefits, there are a number of tools that can boost employee and customer engagement, improve productivity, and help Federal departments to carry out their mission more effectively. Here are a few areas where the tools found in cloud platforms like this one for government agencies are most effective:

  • Productivity
  • Using cloud solutions, agencies can manage employees more effectively, including onboarding, training, and employee scheduling. They can also track the results of specific employees, and see where productivity is taking a hit.

  • Case management
  • By leveraging cloud solutions, agencies can shift their approach to delivering better service, reduce costs, and accelerate time-to-resolution for cases by implementing a secure, multi-channel enterprise platform that supports the full case management cycle by bringing together all relevant information, from any source, into one connected experience.

  • Social listening and outreach
  • Agencies can use cloud platforms to listen to pertinent social conversations across all networks, with tools that will collect them all in one place. This bolsters communication across every platform with better context, while providing agency leaders the real time insight they need from conversations driven by their customers, pertaining to their missions. Furthermore it is easier to provide a unified journey for users, such as those filling out paperwork for immigration or veteran healthcare. CRM platforms provide a more customized, unified experience.

  • Collaboration
  • Cloud platforms provide the opportunity for greater communication between departments, citizens, or partners in the mission, bridging divides and aiding everyone in achieving shared goals.

  • Data-driven Insights
  • One of the best features of a cloud CRM platform is the leg up it gives those who use it, through predictive intelligence. Through collecting, analyzing, and most importantly, learning from data, these platforms provide agencies with the tools to make the best decisions, faster. Furthermore, they provide the ability to unlock back office data, making it easy for the right users to engage with the right data.

So with all of these benefits, what is stopping Federal agencies from taking advantage of the latest cloud technology? Challenges often arise as a result of vital but thorough procurement policies, various rules and regulations (particularly when it comes to security), and what is usually a lengthy acquisition process. Each of these procedures is important, but can make it difficult for Federal IT to embrace many cloud solutions on the market. However, Salesforce Government Cloud  offers a way to overcome many of these difficulties.

With over 40 ATOs in place across all Cabinet-level agencies as well as a multitude of organizations in the defense community,  Salesforce’s trusted cloud computing technology is easily accessible and already in use amongst a multitude of Federal agencies — both civilian and defense — as well as State and Local organizations, and has been granted its highest clearance yet by the Department of Defense, Impact Level 4. Salesforce is continually investing in the industry’s top compliance certifications, and ensuring all solutions meet the highest standards possible. Furthermore, blanket purchase agreements make it easier to speed up the process of switching to the cloud.

Platforms like Salesforce Government Cloud help bring Federal IT into the 21st century. Through taking advantage of cloud solutions, Federal government agencies can cut costs, run more efficiently, and ultimately provide a more complete ecosystem for employees, citizens, and everyone involved in working towards achieving government missions.

Ready to talk more about the capabilities of the Salesforce Platform for Government? We’ll help you set up a strategy to start connecting people and streamlining processes like never before.