The cloud is the friend in need during difficult times, said CIO of the State Department’s Bureau of Information Resource Management, Stuart McGuigan. The State Department started shifting its operations to the cloud in 2019, and while it wasn’t really prepared with the shift, it wasn’t caught in an awkward situation during the pandemic.
At the year end, every staff member was equipped with Office 365, and they had access to cloud services and centralized IT support. As the agency entered 2020, its cloud adoption strategy was gaining momentum, which put it in a good position when the pandemic struck, he said.
“Timing is everything,” McGuigan said.The move to the cloud has facilitated identity management, cyber hygiene and two-factor authentication -- keys to keeping ahead of cybercriminals and bad actors in the current environment, he said.
The “cost of delay” in not getting collaborative applications and other IT applications to users quickly became an important factor when those resources were critical to supporting remote workers, he said. Agile techniques in developing updates also showed there could be “a different expectation of delivery.”