08-05-21 | Blog Post

Unique Cloud Challenges in the Public Sector

Blog Posts

Within the public sector of companies is a group known as SLED (State and Local government, Education), organizations that fall into this category include universities, public school districts, law enforcement and city or state governments. 

Despite the growing interest in cloud from the public sector (70 percent of public service executives see migration to cloud as key to the transformation of core models and systems in the next three years) there are some unique challenges in this space that need to be addressed first. Below, we break down some of those challenges as well as some solutions. 

Top problems

The public sector (we’ll refer to SLED from now on) faces some common challenges when it comes to cloud adoption, especially around the following: 

  • Procurement (73 percent don’t know what type of cloud to choose or how to price it effectively)
  • Security (less than 50 percent understand the complex nature of cloud security requirements)
  • Workforce training (62 percent of the SLED workforce lacks adequate training for cloud computing)

These problems can certainly hamper the progress of SLED organization’s transformation to the cloud. 

Other challenges

In addition, much of the SLED industry uses legacy applications and on-prem infrastructure, some of which is approaching EOL (or past it). As mentioned above, many executives are interested in moving to the cloud but there are rampant concerns around compliance and cybersecurity (ransomware attacks have been especially popular in the public sector lately) and having the right resources to address those concerns. In fact, there were nearly 7,000 reported incidents of a data breach within the public administration sector, according to the 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report.  


Addressing the above challenges is key for those in the SLED space to find success in the cloud. Since many companies in this industry are struggling to hire and retain in-house IT talent, working with the right service provider who can manage their systems is key, freeing in-house staff to focus on other areas of the business. A special plus is a provider who can offer the benefits of cloud with minimal or no need to refactor any applications (something that is of huge importance for those on a legacy system). In addition, professional management of the environment and risk mitigation associated with it should also be considered. Keep the following considerations in mind when researching your providers:

  • Ask about each provider’s performance and data center locations — what is the availability like? What is the proximity of a cloud node to your location? Do you need locations spread out nationally or require geo-diversity?
  • Seeking a provider who offers a variety of compliant, cloud based solutions such as disaster recovery and backup is a great way to test out the cloud before moving any mission-critical workloads.
  • Most companies, regardless of industry, require adherence to some kind of compliance regulation. Partnering with a provider who can attest to your specific compliance needs, such as HIPAA, PCI, SOC 2 or ISO 27001 will go a long way towards helping your own organization achieve compliance in the cloud.
  • What is the staffing like at your potential provider? Will they work as an extension of your team if you’re particularly overwhelmed, or do you need someone who is less “hands on” instead?

 Adopting cloud in SLED compared to the private sector is a different beast. There are several challenges around workforce training, cybersecurity and legacy migration that only the right service provider can help address. Finding someone who understands and can solve these unique challenges will help companies in the SLED space accelerate their adoption of cloud computing and catch up with their private sector peers. 

Seeking a cloud provider who understands the Public Sector? Otava can help. We’ve partnered with Carahsoft, The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider® to provide secure, compliant cloud solutions to the public sector through Carahsoft’s National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO), OMNIA Partners and The Quilt contracts and the company’s reseller partners. Contact us to learn more.

Additional resources

Assuring Cloud Solutions Meet Your Economic Requirements

Closing the Cloud Skills Gap at Your Organization

Otava Cloud Solutions Now Available on Carahsoft, NASPO, OMNIA Partners and the Quilt Contracts



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