12.22.2017Enterprise Tech

Transformation will be a driving force for Federal Government IT in 2018

By: Steven Lefrancois
Capital Building

Verizon Enterprise Solutions expects 2018 to be the year of transformation. For the U.S. federal government, this transformation will be seen through the integration of more innovative technologies that were once reserved only for businesses and consumers.

Transformation is already a top priority among government CIOs. Our insights reveal that the CIOs focus is shifting more toward identifying solutions that help agencies focus efficiently and directly on their mission critical goals. We’ve seen it with the continued integration of the cloud, the addition of collaboration tools such as UCCaaS, and the increased use of analytics to measure performance and scale successful programs.

Taking all of these factors into consideration, along with Verizon’s enterprise-wide insights and input from our customers, we identified five technology trends that we expect to move the needle on government modernization efforts in 2018. The agencies that effectively integrate these technologies and use their benefits to simplify operations and communicate seamlessly will feel the greatest impact.

Software Defined Networking (SDN) takes a step forward. Companies have already begun to explore the security, agility, and flexibility of virtualized network services, and government agencies are catching up quickly. The government needs these services to support the increased demand for cloud and mobile technologies. In 2018, we expect application-aware networking to increase in its availability and use, which we’ve already begun to see with the recent availability of SD-WAN for Government.

Security is embedded into the network to protect users. Security is and will continue to remain critical for the federal government. As it currently stands, agencies must reach and maintain a level of compliance based on industry standards. In 2018, we will see security become even more embedded into IT platforms, so it is an integrated component from beginning to end. In simpler terms, we expect to see more end-to-end managed security infrastructure in government agencies to address the evolving cybersecurity threats that plague agencies. Security has been at the forefront of most IT decisions – from using more network threat analytics tools to receive notifications of questionable activity, to the overhaul of networks to a more IoT-focused environment – but this will be the year that agencies will establish more consistency in their approach.

Digital collaboration transforms the agency environment. Digital technologies will transform workplace collaboration. Government employees expect to seamlessly access calendar information share documents and schedule calls across platforms, quickly and securely. The focus will therefore be on enabling multi-channel access to help improve both the user experience and productivity.

As-a-Service to drive efficiency. In 2017, the demand for more personalized IT experiences went from being a “nice to have” to a “must have” for business and government. As-a-Service or AAS models are breaking the traditional mold and addressing this head on to give agencies the flexibility needed to focus more on their core missions, and as a result, in the best interest of the people they serve. While this is not a new trend, it’s one that we expect to drive the evolution of legacy IT systems this year.

The focus turns to interoperability. With record-breaking hurricanes in 2017, as well as several acts of terror across the world, it is more important than ever to equip our nation’s heroes with fast and secure connections. In 2018, we expect to hear more conversations, learn of new technology solutions, and see more actions from the government to permit this change.

The U.S. federal government will experience real change next year. The continued efforts surrounding modernization come at a time where the workforce is changing and new technological demands arise daily. As we end 2017 and have an opportunity to strategize for the next year, I encourage all government agencies to reflect on their core missions and the infrastructure needed to support them. Take this time to consider the changes you can make now and even those you’ll need to make in the next few years.

We are using our experience and technology expertise to help our customers develop modernization strategies, many of which focus on these five trends, and will soon enable them to experience real digital transformation.

Learn more about Verizon’s work with U.S. federal agencies. 

For media inquiries on this story, please contact editor Jennifer Banks at jennifer.banks@verizon.com

About the author(s): 

Steven Lefrancois is Public Sector Chief Technology Officer, Verizon Enterprise Solutions