The Brave New World of Public Sector IT

We’ve entered a brave new world of IT in the public sector. Traditionally, government has been limited by monolithic architectures; these cumbersome tools have restricted innovation and progress within the IT departments of many agencies. Increasingly, however, improved software is defining business practices, allowing IT teams and users alike to become more agile and accelerate the pace business, while also fast-tracking enterprise and technological change. This momentum and flexibility is crucial in today’s modern organizations where the seconds and minutes count.

Modern IT solutions promise to simplify, protect against insider and outsider threats, while also automating processes. Enhanced tools that systematize protocols and compliance standards are allowing IT teams to think ahead and design infrastructure with agility and an end-game in sight.

At VMware’s Inaugural Public Sector Seminar, industry and public sector technology thought leaders shared how they’re innovating with today’s leading IT solutions and tools. Bill Rowan, VP of Federal Sales at VMware, started the day off by outlining four business priorities that align with IT imperatives:

  1. Create exceptional experiences
  2. Differentiate with data and apps
  3. Respond instantly to opportunities
  4. Safeguard brand and customer trust

Throughout the day’s sessions, we discussed these critical tenets of successful organizations driven by IT advances. From cybersecurity and micro-segmentation to future proofing with compliant solutions, we collaborated on how to best power organizational missions while simultaneously improving public sector service.

Create Exceptional Experiences

Mobilize Your Workforce

Mobile use has been growing dramatically over the past several years. The public sector cannot ignore their mobile workforce; BYOD is no longer an option, but the way. Just a few weeks ago when Snowstorm Jonas hit DC, OPM encouraged federal workers to stay at home and telework. Even more, mobility discussions are no longer just about individual devices; we’re seeing tablets, handheld devices, and virtual desktop environments all come together to encompass every form of access. On top of that, we’re also talking about the security layer at each unique access point and type.

The key to today’s concerns with mobility security is to redefine accessibility and boost productivity, all while providing a seamless experience for the end user. AirWatch by VMware is allowing organizations to eliminate tradeoffs between devices through segmentation. We can segment the data and the access to information based on the platform by which the user is traversing the network. By unifying endpoint management and customizing platform access, we’re able to improve mobile security and in turn workforce efficiency.

Differentiate with Data and Apps

Modernize Infrastructure Seamlessly

Modernizing applications to deal with larger workloads and massive amounts of organizational data is an important feature of a public sector organization built for the future. Designing an IT strategy around agility and DevOps will help IT teams to reduce the burdens of the immovable structural design of their predecessors. As new technology comes to the public sector, we need to be able to keep pace with our commercial counterparts.

By seamlessly building on the systems our organizations currently use, teams are able to save time, energy, and capital. Moreover, this idea of enhancing pre-existing structures adds a much needed self-service component to technology. Whereas before, IT managers relied heavily on the vendor to provide direction and constant maintenance on a new system, this new style of IT allows the customer to better understand, control, maintain, and innovate on the systems they already know. Self-service IT is accelerating the pace of business and promising continued agile development.

Respond Instantly to Opportunities

Future Proof Your Cloud

It’s estimated that by the end of 2017, nearly 50% of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments. Cloud promises to reduce costs, but incompatible clouds can actually increase capital expenditure due to disparate tools and operating expenses for the additional FTEs and training required to manage these solutions. Within government, users face even tougher demands with FedRAMP compliance, which can be difficult and expensive. Successful cloud deployment is not just proper use of the software; it should be more broadly thought of as the people, technology, process, and time necessary to properly set up and maintain.

Safeguard Brand and Customer Trust

Rethink Security

In 2014, the average time to discover a cybersecurity breach was over 240 days. And with mobility, everybody and every device now has the potential to become a cyber threat. No matter how robust the practices, tools, and people are working on cybersecurity, a breach will still happen. The public sector needs to embrace a cyber policy that doesn’t trust anyone or any device and assumes that a breach is coming. To transform, IT leaders should consider the equation:

Threat = Vulnerability x Time

A fundamental piece of this new cyber policy is security automation. Cyber automation tools have traditionally been weaker than network and computer automation tools – it’s almost as if security protocols and their slow pace have weighed down organizations. VMware NSX is helping to automate security by essentially “turning on” the cyber capabilities of existing IT infrastructures. NSX also offers visualization into the cybersecurity landscape, which is crucial in discovering holes in the system and improving practices overall.

In the brave new world of public sector technology, embracing change and innovating in the moment is key to business efficiency, productivity, and mission success.

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