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Federal Insights

What Procurement Offering Should Be More Frequently Considered? What Public Sector Leaders on the Cutting Edge are Adopting

by gkessler ‎10-24-2016 09:14 AM - edited ‎10-28-2016 10:28 AM (7,047 Views)

Government IaaS spending increased 53 percent from 2012 to 2015, according to a recent report from Govini. IDC Government Insights reported growth in IaaS, PaaS and SaaS spending in 2015. Government is seeing big benefits in acquiring IT as-a-service and investing accordingly. What needs to be considered more frequently in the as-a-service movement? Agencies are looking to the network.


Agencies currently spend more than 70 percent of their IT budget maintaining legacy IT systems and technology. Yet at the same time, they are under pressure to modernize systems – with nearly $3 billion worth of IT systems expected to become outdated over the next three years. These challenges don’t have to be at odds. Network subscription models allow agencies to invest in new network technology with more readily available OpEx dollars.


Public sector innovators are overcoming network challenges by acquiring capabilities through network as-a-service or subscription models. Leaders in the defense and healthcare communities explored some of the benefits and challenges of the model in a recent FedInsider webinar. What were some of the key takeaways?


With traditional approaches to network acquisition, agencies can’t easily scale network capacity up and down. Network subscription eliminates this issue, allowing agencies to scale and upgrade as necessary, paying only for what is used.


Brian Donovan, contracting officer, Branch Chief, Department of the Army, cited this ability to scale assets as one of the most valuable elements of the as-a-service model, with Frank Konieczny CTO Office of Information Dominance & CIO for the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Air Force reflecting a similar insight. As digital transformation technologies become more commonplace in government, it is hard for agencies to predict how their data is going to expand. “Now that there’s the IoT, there’s way more on the network,” Konieczny stated.


Luckily with a network subscription model, it isn’t necessary to predict the future – agencies have a clear view of what they have and what they need and can easily make adjustments, scaling capacity up and down.


This flexibility enables cost savings and other measureable improvements. The Army began seeing savings right off the bat by reducing the number of ports in use from 13,000 to 8,000 – 36 percent fewer ports – immediately creating maintenance savings. Similarly James Wellman, CIO, Comanche County Memorial Hospital noted significant savings seeing a 30 percent reduction in total cost of ownership across their network.


Donovan also noted ease of management to be an important benefit. Network subscription can take the burden off of the agency, maintaining network assets from cradle to grave. With a manpower shortage impacting government, alleviating this burden is critical. Brocade’s network as-a-service model, Brocade Network Subscription (BNS) provides support for the transition to new solutions and the disposal of outdated assets.


What’s holding agencies back?


Across the board, the biggest barriers are cultural. Agency decision makers often need to adjust their mindset to take advantage of subscription models’ potential. Addressing this issue often starts with education. Donovan, Konieczny and Wellman all expressed that the ability to show expected savings goes a long way in gaining buy-in. Bringing in industry experts to explain the model can help as well. Once agency decision makers understand the benefits and how network subscription models can help agencies save, they’re often ready to get on board. While innovative, the solution adheres to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), so once cultural barriers are overcome implementation is simple.


Agency demands vary and change. There is no need to take a cookie cutter approach to acquisition. Switching to BNS combines flexibility, savings and manageability with innovation. Hear Donovan, Konieczny and Wellman discuss how BNS fits in at their organizations as a part of a recent FedInsider webinar:


You can learn more about BNS here: