How IT Modernization Initiatives are Impacting Federal Agencies

Driven by modernization, cyber, cloud, and AI, Government-wide IT spending across all agencies is projected to be $90.9B for FY2021. Agencies are undergoing the largest digital transformation in history and are faced with challenges like legacy infrastructure, growing data delivery needs, and navigating the complex web of solutions with a limited pool of trusted advisors. They are accomplishing this while also navigating social distance requirements due to the pandemic. Initiatives like the Data Center Optimiation Initiative (DCOI), Federal IT FITARA, and Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGTA) are driving efforts to build strategies with quantifiable goals to optimize, consolidate and adopt cloud computing to modernize IT. Data shows that benefits range from cost savings, freeing up staff time, and helping accomplish their agency’s mission more efficiently.

The President’s Budget for the most recent Fiscal Year identify IT spend in the following categories:
– Legacy IT Spending
– IT Modernization
– Technology Modernization Fund
– Cybersecurity
– Modern Public-Facing Services
– Cloud Adoption/Email Migration
– Improving Data Analytics and IT Portfolio Management
– Improving the IT Workforce

The intended savings goals put in place by these initiatives are working. Data Center Optimization Intiatives (DCOI) savings, and non-data center agency savings continue to build the business case for modernization and the benefits of hybrid and multi-cloud solutions. Progress reported on the Data Center Optimization Initiative Site shows that since 2016 210 tiered datacenters have closed and 3,005 non-tiered data centers closed. Additionally, to date agencies have realized $1,943,972,508 in savings and cost avoidance.

To maximize efficiencies in the midst of consolidation, agencies are looking at moving applications and data processing toward cloud-based solutions. For instance, the DHS has identified 70 of the 584 applications they host as candidates the agency will seek to move into the cloud. And, Army Corps of Engineers sees Software as a Service as a means to improve agency mobility.

For most, hybrid and multi-cloud strategies that utilize a combination of on-prem, offsite private cloud, public cloud, and colocation are the new norm. This strategy of distributing workloads by specific governance, performance, and cost requirements generally requires more upfront workflow and infrastructure discovery and planning, but can yield costs savings, operational efficiency, and higher performance overall.

Government modernization and hybrid and multi-cloud strategies

Additional resources: Aug 2020 FITARA Scorecard (Credit: www.nextgov.com)

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