Federal IT Coordinators Kick Initiatives into High Gear

The next generation of IT is alive and well in the corporate world, with advancements in cloud computing, data analytics and mobile device integration all finding their place in the modern business environment. However, federal decision-makers are still seeking to reap the benefits of these innovations for themselves, as a range of government agencies still believe they are lagging with regard to tech adoption. Is your organization falling behind the curve? Here is what's being done to ensure that you and other leaders are making up for lost ground.

IT efficiency takes top spot

One example of an agency in the process of revitalizing its tech outlook is the Department of Agriculture, a recent Fed Tech Magazine article pointed out. Already having partnered with the National Information Technology Center in an effort to consolidate data center resources, the agency's overall goal has been to boost the efficiency of current IT assets while ensuring that any new investments realize their full output potential.

"The NITC's primary focus has been on consolidating data centers within USDA by leveraging virtualization technologies and offering cloud services to lower the total cost of ownership for its customers," said Ed Reyelts, acting associate CIO for the USDA's Enterprise Data Center Operations, according to Fed Tech Magazine.

The source explained that the USDA has seen substantial increases in the effectiveness of its systems thanks to its data center optimization efforts. Its FedRAMP cloud service reportedly experiences a virtualization density of 46 virtual guests to 1 virtual host - a testament to the efficiency granted by a modernized virtual infrastructure.

BYOD and security factor in

While cutting costs and squeezing the most from current IT systems is a top priority for federal decision-makers, you can't overlook issues such as cyber security when developing a strategy for your own agency. This is especially true if you plan on incorporating a BYOD policy into your outlook, as the use of personal devices can open networks up to a range of vulnerabilities. Partnering with an expert service provider is essential to ensuring the protection of these vital systems.

"Cloud computing changes the dynamic of the IT workforce by offering the opportunity to have skilled program managers, who maintain policy and governance, to know where the data is, maintain its integrity and understand the entire investment as opposed to being the technical implementer," Donald Adcock, deputy CIO for the Department of Energy, told Fed Tech Magazine.

InformationWeek recently explored the growing phenomenon of the CISO, or chief information security officer, in the federal arena. Aside from BYOD and other in-house policy issues, these individuals are tasked with a range of daunting responsibilities including international threat assessment, regulatory compliance and the development of a security strategy both flexible and resilient. If your agency doesn't have a CISO in place, it may be time to bring one of these experts to the table and begin to bolster your protective measures in accordance with other, high-stakes IT projects.