More agile, DevOps in agencies’ futures

More agile, DevOps in agencies’ futures

Agile development practices, open source and private sector-style DevOps cultures. Those are among the predictions for public-sector tech in 2016 from Booz Allen Hamilton’s Systems Delivery Group, which based its prognostications on discussions with C-level clients and industry influencers.  

The six trends expected to significantly impact government IT in 2016:

Innovation culture: Government agencies are likely to refocus research and development projects with the help of innovative incubators and hackathons that better meet agencies’ technology demands.  Look for options to traditional procurement channels, like replacing standard written proposals for IT acquisition with contracts, such as the Agile Delivery Services blanket purchase agreement recently awarded by the General Services Administration’s 18F group.

Agility:  Agencies must tackle the demand for innovation, speed and cost containment with scalable, lean, agile development efforts and programs.  Starting with small successes in agile development -- like continuous feedback loops, prioritizing value, adding frequent development cycles and increasing collaboration -- agencies must amplify those wins in 2016.

Team players: Reinventing the responsibilities of government staff will be important. Agencies must  establish the right agile team and management support with project leads, team members and product owners who strongly communicate goals, provide helpful feedback via frequent iteration and maximize value delivery.  

Modularity: Agencies will adopt modular systems and micro-service-based architectures, replacing traditional architecture to reduce costs, minimize complex code and difficult updates, speed up deployment processes and increase system stability. Some agencies are already using open-source container technology to consolidate legacy applications onto public cloud platforms.

Open source: Government will replace commercial off-the-shelf business application software and enterprise application lifecycle management tools with open source utilities, but agencies must understand the licensing, supportive guidelines, security requirements and legislative controls in use for federally funded systems (think FITARA and the U.S. Digital Services Playbook).

Resiliency: Agency systems and IT solutions must  be built with extensibility and maintenance in mind to lower costs and reduce the possibility of “vendor lock-ins.” Agencies will use more automated tools for monitoring and providing real-time updates on code quality, deployment progress and the status of IT infrastructure.

About the Author

Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.


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