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Find the Right Path to Digital Transformation

If you’re looking for a standard digital transformation playbook, stop now. There isn’t one.

Many agencies undertaking transformation initiatives are dealing with common problems: a lack of agility, increasing “surprise” costs, problems with security and compliance, overly complex management issues and an overall lack of collaboration across the IT environment.

But while the problems might be similar, the solution depends on the specific priorities of a given agency, factoring in both their requirements and their budgets, said Arno Bergstrom, Vice President of CounterTrade Products, a technology solutions provider and certified woman-owned small business.

“For many of our customers, we are having conversations surrounding their overall cloud strategy and how a full-stack enterprise infrastructure — including compute, storage, networking and security — can support their digital transformation,” Bergstrom said.

Start With the End Goal in Mind

Sometimes when putting together a transformation roadmap, it helps to consider a worst-case scenario: In the event of a cyberattack or system failure, can you minimize data loss, ensure regulatory compliance and guarantee business continuity?

In other words, cybersecurity and data backup need to be built into any transformation initiative.

This mission-critical lens also can help agencies make the case for funding transformation initiatives. Leadership or legislators might not be moved by the need for simplifying IT management or improving collaboration, but they understand the need to keep constituents safe and services running.

“With cybersecurity threats on the rise, agencies are at continued risk, which puts the American people at risk,” Bergstrom said. “Supporting funding so that our most valuable asset — our data — can be protected from unauthorized use is critical to our success and the success of our country.”

Aim for Security and Agility

Often, another key technology piece is cloud computing, which gives agencies more flexibility in how they manage and secure their data and services.

In some cases, however, agencies also will want to rethink their underlying infrastructure. One option is a hyperconverged infrastructure, in which compute, storage and networking resources are fully integrated. That simplifies the management of the infrastructure, making it easier to both secure and deploy IT services.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture took this approach in 2018, when it adopted a combination of public and private cloud services. 

“Their legacy IT systems were aging and had become difficult to secure, which left them vulnerable to cyberattacks,” Bergstrom said. “By moving to a hyperconverged infrastructure, they were able to become secure, agile and scalable, which allowed the agency to respond more quickly to changing demands and requirements.”

CounterTrade, which has been working with the federal government for more than 35 years, specializes in helping agencies map out their journey.

“We have a depth of in-house engineering resources as well as a tenured sales team to help guide you through whiteboarding your needs, consolidating them, helping with market research and then support the contracting and compliance of fair competition through best-in-class federal procurement vehicles,” Bergstrom said.

This article appears in our Guide, “Unpacking Digital Transformation.” To read more about how agencies are getting the most out of their modernization and transformation efforts, download the guide.


Image by by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

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