It has been a busy few months for those in government; and busy is good. My team and I have had a lot of conversations with those at the heart of IT in the government, and one thing is clear:
Government agencies are still in dire need of modernizing their entire IT infrastructure, and the key to initiating this transformation is the IT network. I've said it before, and I’ll say it again, modernization of the IT networks can help save Federal agencies more than $5 billion over the next 5 years. In a time when federal spending is increasing daily, who wouldn't support saving a couple billion dollars?
This need for modernization was highlighted yet again at the Federal Forum, which Brocade co-hosted with MeriTalk in August. We heard about the biggest challenges and trends being faced by Terry Halverson, CIO of the Navy, and many other Federal IT visionaries.
In contrast, take a look at what is happening in the enterprise. Each day, after careful planning, private companies are gaining the cost savings, flexibility and security that come with cautious moves to cloud computing. The public sector is slowly gaining ground. But too slowly. The key is to have a plan and duplicate best practices in virtualizing the network, and then expanding those best practices to the overall IT infrastructure.
The engineers that installed IT networks 30 years ago had no idea what challenges lay ahead of them, let alone the possible technology. This is true in both providing citizen services and in support of the warfighter. In fact, what is installed now, won’t exist 30 years from now. Technology is certainly one industry that continues to grow and change. Architectures change, evolve with need, and government agencies need to recognize the fact that they are already behind. It’s not too late to update their networks, which will ultimately save them money. $5 billion over the next 5 years, in fact.