Planning the Data Center of the Future Requires More than Technology Alone

Agencies today are being asked to do a lot with their data. With information generated by new sources – from social media outlets to mobile devices – agencies must store, monitor, organize, access, and, most importantly, make sense of data in a way that allows them to best serve the American citizenry.

The data center is the eye of this data storm, and it’s essential that IT leaders have the best tools at their disposal to ensure information flows seamlessly throughout the network. These tools go beyond technology alone and must also include a strategic approach to acquisition planning.

Follow Government Guidance

Government recognizes the critical role the acquisition process plays in encouraging innovation and solving agencies’ IT challenges. As a result, government has made a concerted effort to reinvent to role of the CIO through legislation like the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act. FITARA is poised to change the federal IT acquisition landscape by empowering agency CIOs to acquire IT that will suit their agency’s mission needs.

It is also important that CIOs and others involved in the acquisition process work with industry and follow Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) system that requires agencies to conduct market research before selecting an IT solution. Understanding all of the solutions available will ensure agencies are using the most effective option for their environment.

Reduce Maintenance Spending to Make Room for Innovation

Federal CIO Tony Scott recently noted that more than 80 percent of the government’s IT budget is spent on legacy technology. This is not a public sector problem alone; in fact, a recent global survey of CIOs across industries found that legacy networks are a top worry and could even impede new tech adoption. As agency IT needs become more complex due to an influx of data, agencies must get a handle on legacy systems and maintenance costs.

Investing in large scale IT infrastructure modernization projects may seem like a daunting task, but agencies have options available to alleviate some of their budgetary challenges. Just as government is utilizing software- or platform as-a-service models, agencies can benefit from purchasing network-as-a-service, as well. This allows agencies to take advantage of cutting edge network technology, equipped to manage modern data needs while also reducing maintenance costs.

For further discussion on how acquisition impacts the data center of the future, join our Federal Forum panel Data Center of the Future: It’s More than Just Technology on June 17. Leaders including Commerce CIO Steve Cooper, DOT CIO Richard McKinney, Executive Director of the U.S. Army Information Technology Agency Greg Garcia, DHS Director of the Office of Procurement Operations Soraya Correa, and ImmixGroup co-founder Steve Charles. Together these speakers will discuss the challenges of following a deliberate and impartial procurement process to acquire the products and services that can help agencies meet their missions. Learn more about Federal Forum at: www.FederalForum2015.com

I encourage you to join me to continue the conversation on Twitter at @AKRobbins2010.

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