An interview with John Curalli, Director, State & Local Government and Matt Borkowski, Enterprise ERP Solutions Architect, Arctic IT.
If you are responsible for your agency’s technology, your job isn’t an easy one. How do you deploy technology in a way that is secure, delivers mobile functionality and improves services?
Given budget pressures, it can be tempting to take a Band-Aid approach to technology issues, modernizing a service here, an application there. What do you get? An overly complex IT environment that is difficult and costly to manage.
That won’t fly at a time when citizens expect a higher level of service, said John Curalli, Director of State and Local Government at Arctic IT, a technology company specializing in managed services and business application services.
Constituents want the same speed and simplicity from government that they experience in the commercial world, but first-generation technology is failing to deliver that kind of change. Instead, agencies need to build a comprehensive cloud strategy with a secure unified platform. In Arctic IT’s experience, the best foundation for that platform is Microsoft cloud, Curalli said.
A Proven Path
By building in the Microsoft cloud environment, with Microsoft tools, government can tap into proven capabilities. Security is coherent and coordinated, and a unified platform gives citizens a higher level of service.
The idea is not to build something new but to leverage the tools that exist, such as Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, with the Azure cloud environment tying it all together.
With Microsoft, government can simplify its migration to the cloud. In leveraging a commonly used set of tools, “you’re tapping a skillset that is already there,” said Matt Borkowski, enterprise ERP solutions architect at Arctic IT. “User adoption tends to be quicker, and it’s easier to train new employees on these tools because they are is similar to what they already know.”
Microsoft’s approach includes an offering built specifically for state and local government, Azure Government. A tailored solution like this offers a higher level of security in support of federal, state and local requirements. Microsoft’s government cloud meets the requirements of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), adopted by many states.
Streamlined Acquisition Processes
The journey to modernization is supported by the simplified acquisition vehicle known as the GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) Technology Program. With pre-approved products, GSA MAS provides agencies the following:
- Faster acquisitions by eliminating costly and time-consuming RFPs
- Pre-qualified contractors government can connect with
- Pre-negotiated terms and conditions, and competitive prices
State and local governments qualify for the MAS with the GSA Cooperative Purchasing Program, which is a benefit that many agencies are unaware of. By partnering with a Microsoft-experienced vendor, agencies can leverage needed support, ensuring they get maximum value from their cloud deployments. “The right partner can handle routine tasks, like keeping things updated. And they can train people on new features, making sure that they make best use of that technology,” Borkowski said. To read more about this approach, check out this recent report.