Federal agency IT infrastructure continues to be a challenge because of disparate, legacy systems. The issue, while long discussed, continues to dominate federal IT spending. Complicating the matter even further for many federal agencies is that they often implement a new, separate solution for each IT need. As agencies add more and more IT solutions, they can become cumbersome components that IT teams must manage with their old IT infrastructure. But, according to a GovLoop report, the future of IT is here in converged infrastructure (CI) that combines servers, storage and networking into a single unit, helping government agencies modernize IT infrastructure.
“What we found in the federal landscape is legacy, siloed environments across agencies. Each has a single initiative or goal,” Steve Miller, director of consulting for IronBrick, said. “There are diverse workloads across multiple instances and redundant teams, as well as disparate hardware with different brands, models and configurations.”
The overabundance of legacy systems and redundancies has “… resulted in inefficiencies and an inability for agencies to take full advantage of advancements in technology,” according to the CIO Council’s January 2017 State of Federal IT report. That results in a failure to meet their mission to deliver quality services to the public.
So, what does CI promise to government agencies? In addition to simplification and modernization CI can improve IT speed, responsiveness, dependability and affordability for government agencies.
As opposed to owning and managing disparate hardware, for example, CI offers a more flexible self-service model in which resources from a variety of providers are consumed on demand. Rather than multiple IT assets in independent silos, CI bundles hardware components with a management platform or software to orchestrate and provision the resources as a single integrated system.
To create the right IT ecosystem that will be conducive to CI success, here are a few best practices and recommendations:
- Identify use cases. With data, user and workload volumes increasing, consider where CI solutions would work best for your agency.
- Champion buy-in. Identify key personnel in the organization who can effectively drive the change your agency needs to implement CI.
- Streamline IT organizations. Set your IT groups up with the right information to effect change from within.
- Prepare to scale. As you start to implement the converged technology, you may see IT innovation opportunities quickly expand.
CI also can help agencies implement IT solutions that improve a number of areas, including:
- Data analytics
- Workforce productivity
- Agency-specific applications
- Business processing
- Virtual desktop infrastructures
Download the GovLoop report Converging IT to Meet Your Mission Needs Industry Perspective here.