As a government agency technology leader, you understand that new technologies pave the way for government innovation in operation, efficiency and costs reductions. But getting from concept to reality requires finding innovative ways to overcome constrained budgets and timetables. Opening procurement processes to small business contractors with the right experience may be the best way to achieve every goal.
Terms like “government innovation” and “digital transformation” are abstract buzzwords that mask the bottom line need for making things happen faster, better, and securely while sticking to the budget. With the right experience in implementing technologies that make that happen, small businesses with SBA 8(a) and SDVOSB certifications are the gateway to making all that happen. The first thing you’ve got to do is decide what technologies will give you the biggest bang for your allotted buck to drive government innovation and efficiency.
Driving Government Innovation in the Cloud
Federal, state and local government agencies are turning to the cloud to deliver better services at a lower operating cost. According to Gartner’s findings in “Understanding Cloud Adoption in Government,” worldwide local governments spend 20.6 percent while national governments spend 22 percent of budgets on the cloud. This push to the cloud is a direct result of federal guidelines and laws Including:
- The Office of Management and Budget’s Cloud Smart strategy that lays the groundwork for greater cloud security, access, and workforce skill adoption by refining the procurement process
- The 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA), which sets clear milestones for departments to modernize their internal and external systems
These and other laws, mandates and guidance give you an advocating point of reference that helps sway your stakeholders. The overall goal is to drive the focus on applications that can be migrated to the cloud in ways that make them more efficient, less costly to maintain and more secure.
These advocacy initiatives open the door to bidding and procurement processes that center on skilled contracting partners that bring the most benefits to the table. Many of these projects are tailor made for partnerships with small business contractors with SBA 8(a) and SDVOSB certifications along with successful project track records.
Although the cloud can drive government innovation via workloads and applications, it can’t be done with a single cloud in most cases. Your mandate is to get the cost efficiency, scalability, flexibility and security your organization needs, so you’re likely considering a multi-cloud strategy. This gives you the flexibility to meet the needs of different workloads through either on-prem, public, or private cloud.
This is about more than just moving applications to the cloud. It’s about changing the way your IT team works with applications to speed development, increase security and meet increasing access and user needs. Multi-cloud approaches also cater to the needs of DevOps and set the stage for a host of operational benefits.
DevOps for Government Innovation
DevOps enables your government agency to reimagine operational process workflows while efficiently and cost effectively developing, supporting, maintaining and deploying applications. Government agencies are often working in silos via waterfall methods that represent different groups across the agency. Although the use of different tools, contractors and communication methods make for slow, costly, and error prone development, DevOps changes the game by:
- Removing Interdepartmental silos to create a more efficient application development processes
- Making it quicker and easier for you to update applications and software
- Increasing application security by making security checks part of the change deployment process at the beginning of software recertification
Your challenge as an IT leader is to determine how best to leverage DevOps capabilities and figure out which applications or application processes to start with. You’ll also face the challenge of how to meld or transition from legacy infrastructure and waterfall application development to future upgrades using the DevOps process. That takes a proven change management process to help you restructure how teams interact with each other.
A small business with proven DevOps experience and 8(a) and/or SDVOSB certification can:
- Guide the change management, planning, training and implementation tracks
- Shorten the procurement/approval process for your organization, which can dramatically lower costs in many cases
- Shorten the development cycle and entire processes around applications from implementation to security updates via a proven DevOps process
Multi-cloud and DevOps are tightly intertwined in terms of how they increase the benefits when it comes to government innovation. The beauty is that they aren’t an all-or-nothing proposition. That means you can start with cloud and progress to multi-cloud and then DevOps as part of a gradual strategy with cloud adoption as the foundation.
With the right small business partner , the procurement process for all stages can involve a single partner that can continue to enhance benefits like:
- Cost savings
- Stakeholder buy-in
- Procurement efficiency
- Long-term digital transformation strategy
This not only plays into the POC of the program being developed, it also brings additional benefits like setting you up for containerization and the introduction of DevSecOps.
DevOps, DevSecOps and Containers
Containers allow you to break down applications into their core components, so applications are portable and easily transferable across clouds. You can also use orchestration management tools like Kubernetes to automate container deployment and management to make it simple to spin up or tear down applications as needed.
DevSecOps adds security into the mix, incorporating security tools and processes into every stage of the development lifecycle and providing a methodology for reacting to changes in the environment. This makes it easy and fast for your team to discover and correct system flaws where classified data is governed by strict compliance, security and data privacy regulations.
DevOps, DevSecOps and containers are powerful tools for government innovation and open the door to countless benefits that include:
- Increases organizational control through the use of combined repeatable development and security automation steps
- Lessens variability, strengthens predictability, and removes human error from the development process
- Lays the foundation for microservices architecture
As a government agency or organization IT leader, you know what needs to be done. The problem is, how do you do it with the budgets, timetables, procurement processes, and opposition to change that rules your organization? Working with a small business that brings the right contract vehicles, secure DevOps, and core capabilities experience and expertise may be worth a closer look.
At End-to-End Computing we offer the best IT security services in the industry, reducing the cost of investing in licensing, new technology, staff, and training. We have over 50+ years of experience offering IT solutions to clients in both the private and public sectors. Contact End-to-End Computing now to set up a free cybersecurity assessment and trial.