flash in data center (Timofeev Vladimir/Shutterstock.com)


IT innovation in government: Here's what federal agencies need to know

The pace of technological innovation is growing exponentially each year. Consumers across almost every sector are seeing technologies like big data, real time analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning play a role in their interaction with companies and their products or services. As the tech landscape continues to evolve, and consumers increasingly expect digital services to expand, organizations are quickly realizing they must find innovative ways to handle the massive increase in data that comes alongside this proliferation of new technology.

The public sector, which has traditionally been behind industry on the IT implementation curve, is realizing that citizens today expect more from their government when it comes to digital technologies and services.  This forces local, state and federal agencies to ensure their on-demand offerings are similar to what their constituents get from other vendors and organizations. Plus, the government sector is experiencing rapid change as agencies move toward as-a-service models and implement more robust data analytics and cloud computing capabilities. These transitions continue to prove challenging for agencies of all types and sizes as a myriad of hurdles like varying IT systems, security concerns and budgets constrain efforts.

Adding to the complexity, the amount of data produced by government agencies and citizens alike is now substantially higher due to the use of mobile devices, social media, sensors, etc. -- meaning agencies must use big data analytics to drive the performance needed to expand offerings to their employees and citizens while bolstering cybersecurity to protect their infrastructure and services.

To break that down to just devices, analyst firm IDC anticipates approximately 80 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2025 -- that’s triple the current number. To further dissect, 10 years from now, approximately 152,000 devices per minute will be added to the network. Now imagine the amount of data that will be generated by devices alone.

As part of an effort to reform IT, the cloud-first policy was mandated for federal agencies to reduce costs and achieve operational efficiencies. The policy was also intended to reduce investment in IT and help agencies realize the benefits of cloud adoption (i.e. efficiency, reliability and security). However,  challenges exist as some federal agencies remain wary of moving their data from easily controllable data centers to public cloud services. For this reason, there is growing interest in deploying government applications in private clouds.

Agencies that plan to move toward agile, private cloud infrastructures also require platforms that offer high performance and scalability to effectively manage IT operations. All-flash storage solutions can help federal agencies gain new cost efficiencies and enhance the performance, scalability and agility needed to meet their objectives. Recent advances in all-flash storage are beginning to reshape strategies for application delivery infrastructures and streamline IT operations, and flash as-a-service can deliver high-performance storage solutions in a flexible model for secure deployments optimized for federal government use cases.

With the increased focus on cybersecurity within the government sector today, IT solutions -- specifically storage -- must deliver absolute security to comply with the regulations without compromising storage efficiency. To ensure this happens, agencies today should adhere to the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, which delivers a standard approach to security assessment, authorization and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services, and the Federal Information Security management Act, which defines a comprehensive framework to protect government information, operations and assets against natural and man-made threats. Modern IT systems and storage architectures allow government agencies to not only meet both of these requirements, but protect all data and systems managed by a particular agency or group of agencies.

With the increased awareness and adoption of cloud technologies, the time is now for state, local and federal agencies to streamline their operations and create a more efficient and agile infrastructure. As government agencies continue to see the as-a-service IT delivery model disrupt their legacy infrastructure strategies, they will be able to leverage all-flash storage solutions to provide them with the performance, scalability, agility and cost efficiency modern applications today and in the future require.

About the Author

Eyal David is chief technology officer at Kaminario.


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