Helping government agencies move to the cloud

Helping government agencies move to the cloud

How an eGovernment pioneer is increasing the speed and efficiency of service delivery.

Interacting with state and local government agencies isn’t always easy. It often involves traveling to an understaffed office, filling out paperwork, waiting in line, and hoping for the desired answers or outcome.

  • NIC is working to improve these interactions by making them more accessible for citizens and businesses.
  • The eGovernment pioneer has delivered roughly 9500 services in more than 30 states.
  • NIC services make it easier for people to obtain hunting and fishing permits, register vehicles, pay for parking tickets, purchase business licenses, and comply with court and corrections mandates. All online, without waiting in line.

But as with all public sector activities, citizen privacy is of utmost importance.

“We essentially act as a fully managed private cloud for a number of states,” says Jeff Shaw, vice president of IT at NIC. “But each agency is independent and has its own data that can’t be intermingled with others, even within the same state.”

  • With data isolation and protection being critical to its success, NIC would meticulously and manually provision everything—servers, network, security—to deploy each new service or onboard a new agency.
  • The process took 30 to 45 days on average.

Faster provisioning, better security
NIC has adopted Cisco® Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI) to increase the speed and efficiency of service delivery. The software-defined networking architecture automates infrastructure provisioning, greatly accelerating application development, testing, and deployment.

“ACI handles all of the tedious, manual infrastructure tasks for us, so we can deploy new services faster,” says Shaw. “What used to take a month or more now takes hours.”

  • NIC recently hosted a technology conference, in part to showcase its new development capabilities.
  • In the span of three and a half days, conference leaders and attendees created 583 discrete application environments.

“I never thought it would be possible to spin up that many environments in that short of a timeframe,” says Shaw. “It has taken us 23 years to deploy 9500 services. With ACI, I think we can increase our output by 500 to 1000 services annually.”

And all of them will have better data isolation and security. Cisco ACI decouples security and segmentation from the underlying network topology, providing automation and policy control down to the individual tenant, application, or workload.

“Government agencies want to move to the cloud,” says Shaw. “With ACI, we can get them there more efficiently and securely than ever before.”

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