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Modernization Motivation on the Hill

Posted by Milo Speranzo on Apr 16, 2018 12:00:00 PM

 Modern demands are changing the way the government purchases, builds and delivers storage solutions – and Federal agencies are calling for a network transformation that empowers IT and accelerates mission performance. But let’s start from the beginning and then turn to the road ahead.In 1979, a 250 MB hard drive weighed 550 pounds and cost tens of thousands of dollars. Today, a 16 GB microSD card holds 64 times more data, weighs four tenths of a gram and costs $11. Look how far we’ve come. Impressive? Yes. But, there are still some growing pains.The White House reports government-wide legacy IT spending rising only slightly from 68 percent to 70.3 percent from FY 2015 through FY 2018.

 Agencies’ IT demands and requirements – and the missions dependent on them – get harder and more complex every minute. And yet, Federal IT departments – pressed by legislation, buried by regulation and limited by legacy systems – have little flexibility to respond to changing mission demands. So how might agencies leverage more efficient and speedier technologies to accelerate the modernization push? Could it actually save the government money? And, what’s needed to make IT modernization a reality?

Laying Down the Law

Due to Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Sen. Jerry Moran’s (R-Kan.) devoted efforts – the Modernization Government Technology (MGT) Act was signed into law in December as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). “The MGT Act will bring the government’s IT systems into the 21st century and allow agencies to use the money that is saved to modernize other systems, helping create more quality and timely services to the American people,” said Hurd. Now the question remains, how will the MGT Act be funded?

No money has been appropriated yet, but guidelines have been released for agencies to submit proposals to receive money from the Technology Modernization Fund. Agencies are hyper-focused on expediting their migrations and implementations, but before that can happen Federal networks need some serious TLC – the government’s existing network infrastructure hasn’t been updated in at least 20 years. These legacy systems are costing more to operate than it would be to modernize to updated systems. 

The ball is rolling in the modernization movement – with FedRAMP, FITARA, MGT, Cloud First and the IT Modernization report, Feds need to find a way to increase their network’s efficiency, agility and speed to maximize performance and productivity. And while innovation is king, cost savings opportunities are queen – updating networks could save Feds up to $7 billion over the next five years. 

Legacy networks require manual configuration and limited responsiveness, but the new era network will be a thing of beauty: software-centric, virtualized and highly flexible. Need I say more? There’s no time to waste. IT modernization should be a top priority to future proof the next generation of government.

The Path Forward

Tech Data Government Solutions is joining the modernization movement. With new initiatives can come new headaches, but we’re here to ease Uncle Sam’s pains. Don’t miss Tech Data Government Solutions on LinkedIn for a deeper dive on the IT modernization journey.

About the author:

Milo Speranzo
Director, Strategy and Compliance, Government Solutions, Tech Data

Milo is the director of strategy and compliance for Tech Data's Government Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tech Data focusing on the U.S. public sector. In this role, he is responsible for driving the vision, strategy, revenue and profitability while ensuring the compliance of the Tech Data public sector business. Milo joined Tech Data in Feb. 2017, upon the completion of Tech Data’s acquisition of the Technology Solutions division.

Tags: Cybersecurity, IoT, Data, Public Sector, IT Modernization