The “Big Five” IT initiatives: 1) data center consolidation; 2) mobility; 3) security; 4) big data; and 5) cloud computing are gaining visibility and awareness for their promise to improve state and local agency performance, productivity and service. However, a recent MeriTalk study and webinar on “The Big Five in Overdrive” demonstrate that while these solutions get a lot of attention, it’s the underlying network infrastructure needed to support these that is keeping CIOs awake at night. According to the study of over 200 state and local government IT professionals, the vast majority (67-98%) expect to have each of the Big Five solutions deployed within the next two years. But just 12% say that their enterprise campus networks are fully prepared. That suggests a great deal of network refresh required in the next two years – all within a fixed budget for IT departments. Merging these two activities of network modernization and new services deployment with an ever changing and increasingly demanding user community keeps the state local government agency IT departments on their toes.
Network infrastructure may not seem very glamorous, but managing legacy networks can be a real challenge - lacking the flexibility, automation and scalability available with advanced network solutions. Capacity, security and complexity top the list noted in the study as obstacles to implementing the Big Five. Most (89%) of the IT professionals interviewed said that they would need additional network capacity to maintain the same level of service. And, growing networks based on legacy architecture increases complexity and potential security risks. Re-thinking and re-architecting underlying network infrastructures offers opportunities to significantly reduce expenses, both CapEx and OpEx, while increasing scalability and reducing management complexity. Get that done and attacking the Big Five will go a lot more smoothly. Gartner suggests bringing in a second network vendor to ease the pain of complexity and costs in their “Debunking the Myth of the Single-Vendor Network” report. Federal agency network suppliers are already looking at how they can help ease the pain which can easily be translated to SLG savings as well. Check out “The Necessity of Network Modernization” report to see how this could impact your overall IT spend.
The hot, new technologies get the visibility, but it’s the basics, blocking and tackling, where the real opportunity to re-engineer and save big comes from. For more information, watch the MeriTalk webinar “The Big Five in Overdrive”.