Agencies are looking at ways to secure the edge of their systems in order to support a more mobile workforce. “The edge is where the mission happens,” said Max Everett, CIO of the Department of Energy. “We’re in the midst of a transformation. It’s modernization with a plan.”
In order for agencies to meet Data Center Optimization Initiative requirements, many are choosing Data Center Infrastructure Management Solutions to help them visualize what’s going on inside their data centers. “We were looking at optimization before DCOI and DCIM was cool,” said Pruitt Hall, project manager for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s DCIM implementation.
Johnson Joy, CIO of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said that he came to the Federal government hoping to use his private sector expertise to disrupt the public sector. “I’m a disruptor so I want to bring what the private sector has to offer to the government,” Joy said.
Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said that he almost turned down then-Rep. Jason Chaffetz when he asked him to head up the IT Subcommittee in his freshman year in Congress. But “my mama said don’t be a part of the problem, be part of the solution,” Hurd said at Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Roadmap: Tomorrow’s Data Center in a Cloud-Driven Digital World event, produced by MeriTalk, on Oct. 24.
Many Federal agencies still struggle with overcoming security concerns when transitioning to the cloud, according to a MeriTalk report, To Cloud or Not to Cloud? That Isn’t the Question. Thirty-five percent of Federal IT leaders said that the security of their existing private cloud environments is excellent, compared to 21 percent for public cloud security.
With the non-stop cloud chatter, too many Federal agencies think that they need to choose between “all cloud” and “no cloud at all.” But the reality is not either, it’s both. For most agencies, their end result will be a combination of physical servers, private, and public cloud – a hybrid environment. As agency infrastructures evolve, security must evolve as well.
The Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate is standing up shared Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation cloud security resources for small agencies. “That’s a rock star idea that’s coming to a government near you,” said Jeffrey Eisensmith, chief information security officer for DHS.
Federal agencies are focusing on ways they can leverage new technologies, such as automation, to improve IT service management and streamline cybersecurity processes, as they work to keep up with a threat landscape that changes constantly. ServiceNow’s Bob Osborn said that ServiceNow is integrating artificial intelligence capabilities into its platform so that agencies can use the newest automation technologies as they become available.
When Maria Roat became the chief information officer of the Small Business Administration, she had a few goals to accomplish in the first year: Get on Microsoft Office 16 and Windows 10, get to four racks on the agency’s data center, and move from copper to fiber. For a small government agency, these goals were ambitious. In Roat’s first month at SBA, a third of the agency’s network was saturated. Roat partnered with Microsoft to make these goals a reality.
The new administration has left little doubt that consolidation is a top priority. The first budget calls for deep cuts across most agencies. If achieved, these reductions are likely to put the squeeze on already stressed IT budgets. The search for creative solutions can and must intensify. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is pursuing a hybrid cloud model that will simultaneously address optimization, security and budget priorities—blazing a trail for other Federal agencies to follow.