Why should Government agencies get into IT Modernization bandwagon
It’s never too late to begin adopting IT modernization strategies. As government agencies work to catch-up with a remote environment, several paths exist toward an improved, agile IT infrastructure.
While adept in many ways at solving constituent issues, government agencies are commonly viewed as crippled when it comes to dealing with matters related to technology. This largely relates to their so-called legacy IT infrastructure, which features decades-worth of old technology (with associated programming and other capacities) held together with layer upon layer of add-ons. Workers and constituents alike are increasingly frustrated by this lagging governmental infrastructure, especially as remote work/service interactions have become widespread following the recent pandemic. However, government agencies and bureaus across the board still have avenues to an efficient IT infrastructure, with a few central paths leading toward improved technological capacities.
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1. Considering commercial technologies as a means of increasing automation and reducing reliance upon manual processes.
Given that federal government agencies essentially serve as service providers (or businesses) on a large scale, upgrading and modernizing IT capacities is a key way to smoothen various processes and ensure positive constituent experiences when working with different federal offices. When looking at modernizing IT infrastructure, modeling the process after commercial types of technologies can unlock a whole host of benefits for the federal government.
Adopting automation strategies based on those that exist in the business realm, in particular, can help avoid the errors incurred via the usage of manual processes (and therefore availing agency services to human error), while also allowing for leaders to better gather data on agency functions so that full operational efficiency can be achieved.
While the road to true progress may be difficult given current institutional obstacles, billions of dollars could be saved if just a few minutes per worker each week were shifted to critical-thinking-based tasks instead of rote, manual jobs. However, if modernization is adequately linked to progress and improvements (alongside laws nudging the discourse in a progressive direction), federal government agencies and the American public alike can reap the benefits of IT modernization.
2. Working with a hybrid cloud set-up in order to balance all of the data and information and allow for increased flexibility when entering into businesses with vendors in the IT sector.
To put it succinctly, the federal government is a gargantuan entity, with millions of civilian employees powering it as it works with the needs of hundreds of millions of American citizens. Given this vast size (and the necessity of possessing cloud hosting capabilities), one sole contracted vendor is certainly not sufficient when working with so many materials. Moving to a more flexible, hybrid cloud approach is key so that executives can make decisions as needed pertaining to the specific needs of each federal agency at a given moment in time.
While IT modernization is certainly the right move, as an endeavor it can be extremely difficult to enact initially, due to steep costs at the beginning due to setting up a new IT infrastructure without any immediate rewards in terms of budgetary constraints. Utilizing hybridization as an improvement technique in terms of modernizing applications is a secure way to reduce some of these initial costs, including monetary, temporal, and logistical factors. In order to achieve the end goals of overall functional and economic efficiency, hybridization can avoid forcing applications with their own individual cloud needs into a single, constraining cloud. Rather, harnessing a more open hybrid system can ensure that applications within the cloud retain their utility and quality for the long-term.
3. Working to better define executive roles when it comes to IT modernization so that investments can have greater focus and support from the highest level, as well as reformed use of IT budgets.
As mentioned above, the transition to a contemporary IT infrastructure can be a tough one from a budgetary standpoint, as already very little of overall agency IT budgets go toward investments in modernization. This phenomenon is largely due to the copious amount of money maintaining a patchwork of legacy IT infrastructure that is antiquated. Given that they have jurisdiction over many systems and processes within a specific agency (and therefore possess a wide perspective over how to optimize internal operations despite not necessarily having power over individual contracts with vendors), it makes sense to delegate the direction and implementation of IT modernization objectives to CIO’s.
Overall, in addition to delegating greater authority amongst agency leadership, federal government bodies should also look at ways of reworking budgets so that greater flexibility for IT investments and infrastructure are available. By encouraging bureaus to use diverse partnerships when shooting for IT modernization, vendors can assume some of the costs and benefits associated with the project (and hence achieve greater flexibility in terms of cost-efficient revamping of agency IT infrastructure).
Moving forward, overhauling government IT by looking at the commercial sector as a role model (particularly its usage of automation hybrid cloud environments) can serve as a straightforward way for federal government agencies to modernize their IT infrastructure. However, this process is not always an easy one. vTech Solution is eager to help agencies achieve their full potential as they move beyond outdated legacy infrastructure, with a wealth of expertise in this area.
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