3 Big Challenges In The Federal IT Arena

As an IT leader in the federal government environment, you're no stranger to adversity. With the rapid development of technology and the urgency of staying ahead of the curve, it often seems like the process of adoption, integration and optimization is a never ending cycle. The unpredictability of today's demands means you can't ever stagnate in innovation and development, but keeping your agency's tech profile on the cutting edge isn't the only cause of roadblocks in the digital age. Here are three major challenges that you must tackle with confidence if you want to deliver consistent, reliable service.

1. Slashed budgets and resources:

While IT typically receives a substantial monetary allocation in the federal arena, InformationWeek noted that 2015 will be a lean year for tech departments across agencies. The source pointed out that the government's IT spend will be cut from $81.4 billion down to $79 billion, a $2.4 billion drop from this year's allowance.

"[The budget request] continues to drive efficiency in federal IT spending while supporting strong investment in technology that's necessary to continue our progress in creating a 21st-century government. Improving the state of federal IT has been a priority for this administration," federal CIO Steven VanRoekel said, according to the news source.

This 2.9 percent reduction may not mean crisis mode for your organization's tech strategy, but you'll certainly feel the repercussions of this downshift in the months to come. VanRoekel's suggestions, however, should be taken to heart: Don't fear these budget reductions - view them as an opportunity to make tangible, long-term changes to your data center optimization efforts to maximize available resources.

2. Security remains a priority:

Even if your agency hasn't fallen victim to a data breach, the possibility is always around the corner in today's hazardous digital environment. A recent article from Forbes pointed out that while diminished budgets may lead some decision-makers to cut back on cyber security, you shouldn't have to sacrifice the protection of your vital data assets due to financial restrictions.

The source suggested that decision-makers turn the to Einstein 3 Accelerated(E3A) Intrusion Prevention Security Services, a program offered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to federal civilian agencies. With the guidance of DHS experts and third-party solutions providers, you may be able to strengthen your data protection acumen even as budgets are diminished.

"We urge Congress and DHS to place a renewed emphasis on workforce development in the cyber arena and to continue to invest in research and development for new cybersecurity technologies," he said in a statement to the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, according to the source.

3. Consolidation continues:

The federal government's data center sprawl is a known problem across its many organizations, and although you may have already migrated many of your servers and applications to off-premise environments, there is always more room to be made for physical space and cost savings. A separate InformationWeek report noted that to see the benefits of data center consolidation, leaders must orchestrate their migration efforts with higher accountability and more in-depth metrics. Be sure to track your own infrastructure optimization progress at every turn.

What can be done?

You'll need to ensure sufficient and consistent security measures across each database and application to get the most value out of your modernization efforts, especially if you're juggling cloud deployments with legacy computing technology. Teaming up with an expert cloud infrastructure provider can be the key that protects your cloud assets and unlocks their long-term value.