Federal Insights

IT Modernization & Open Standards Command Attention at Federal Forum

by tceleste ‎07-06-2016 05:54 AM - edited ‎07-06-2016 06:43 AM (3,769 Views)

A technology revolution is happening. This was the focus of conversation as Lloyd Carney, Brocade CEO, welcomed attendees to the 2016 Federal Forum, highlighting the intersection of innovation and taking action to modernize federal networks. According to Carney, adoption of software-defined networks and New IP network architecture is inevitable as government scales its infrastructure to accommodate digital transformation.


Carney encouraged agencies to transition to the New IP, an industry term for an innovative approach to networking that is software-enabled, user-centric and based on open standards. According to Carney, deployment of this leading edge technology is the wave of the future and is already revealing its power to transform networks around the world as well as with the federal government. Case in point: the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental, a Department of Defense project that fosters collaboration between government and Silicon Valley tech companies, built a comprehensive IT infrastructure in a record 14 days.


How can agencies pave the way for modernization? U.S. CIO Tony Scott provided insights in his keynote address, as he emphasized the proposed $3.1 billion IT modernization fund as one potential solution. Scott noted that $3 billion also represents the amount of IT investment expected to reach end of life in the next three years, emphasizing how critical it is for government to prioritize modernization. Retiring legacy IT to eliminate the high maintenance spending will also help pave the way to modernization. The savings federal agencies could generate from newer, cost-efficient technologies have the potential to drive a snowball effect, enabling the federal government to save $15 billion over the next five years.


The need for modernization echoed throughout the day. The Federal Leadership Perspectives panel recognized open standards, a key element of the New IP, as an important stepping-stone on the path to modernization. Panelist and USDA CIO Jonathan Alboum expressed the need for a simplified, streamlined network to meet current employee demands. Open standards address this challenge by enabling network components from multiple vendors to work together while also preventing vendor lock-in, a growing challenge in government. Alboum’s advice to agencies? Commit to locking in open standards.


The Forum tied together conversations on IT modernization through breakout panels on security, mobility, and SDN as well as tech track sessions on DevOps and a government use case. It was appropriate to have it hosted on Flag Day. The flag’s symbolism amplified the recognition of our warfighters, veterans and civilian workforce service. Our Flag is also recognized globally as a symbol for independence, freedom and security - all of these attributes are consistent with IT capabilities delivered by the New IP which gives agencies the independence, freedom and security of what data to host where, what infrastructure platforms and apps to use, and the choice of any mix to best serve their mission. The Technology pavilion showcased real life demonstrations showing the positive impact of a modern network on performance and security.


Did you miss a session or the entire event? No worries, e-Learning courses and a webcast extending the content from the Forum will be available mid-July. Until then check out the Brocade presentations and Forum photos at: http://www.fedscoop.com/events/2016federalforum/wrap-up


The conversation is just beginning. What is your agency doing to modernize? Continue the dialogue by connecting with @BrocadeFed.