Network modernization is more than a buzzword. It is a real, mission-critical endeavor central to the goals of every federal agency. It is also one that, if left ignored, will have huge ramifications.
Federal networks are in need of a major overhaul. Emerging technologies like cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Things, and mobility generate additional network traffic, straining the legacy networks currently in place. The promise of these technologies cannot be fully realized without network modernization.
Further, network modernization can save government billions. Prior to this year’s Federal Forum, we prepared a white paper on the Necessity of Network Modernization. The paper details how important elements of the New IP, an industry term for a new paradigm of agile, flexible, user-centric, and software-defined networks based on open standards, are projected to save the federal government as much as $7 billion over the next five years.
Where will these savings come from? Modern, efficient network technologies can create billions in savings.
The first opportunity for agencies to save is by selecting emerging network technologies including Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). An IDC report recently showed that NFV may cut as much as 8.9 percent from total budgets while Deloitte Consulting predicts that taking advantage of SDN may reduce networking costs by as much as 50 percent and cut 7.5 percent from total IT budgets. For those not ready to make the leap to SDN, network fabrics are key. Ethernet fabrics, a stepping stone to SDN, enable agencies to deploy capacity as much as five times faster and increase network utilization by up to 200 percent, allowing agencies to more quickly scale to meet capacity demands. These technologies are extremely valuable to agencies, making it easier to modernize while also innovating, even in the face of tight budgets.
In addition to improving efficiency, new technology dramatically cuts maintenance costs. At present, the federal government spends between $4 and 6 billion per year on network infrastructure and services. According to a Gartner report, by incorporating new technology, government can reduce maintenance costs by as much as $3.34 billion over the next five years.
$7 billion is just the start.
In addition to savings associated with network infrastructure itself, network modernization will allow agencies to save even more by supporting new, more cost effective and efficient technologies like cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Things and mobility. These technologies hold the potential to further reduce costs that will stack and save agencies money as they make their way into agency operations.
Technology is not the only cost-saving aspect of network modernization. I encourage you to continue the conversation with me on Twitter at @AKRobbins2010 and LinkedIn. Stay tuned for my next post on the Necessity of Network Modernization.