Sponsored: How to Harness Best Practices for IT Modernization
Military and civilian agencies can boost capabilities, expand resources and enhance security in effortless ways.
The federal government is increasingly dependent on commercial technologies ranging from infrastructure to the cloud to security solutions. Identifying and incorporating the appropriate complex commercial solutions, however, can be overwhelming when the number of options and the level of risk are significant.
In the case of military operations, warfighters’ lives depend on having the right products with effective security. The best technologies must be found, potential cyber holes must be identified, and security gaps must be filled.
Navigating the complex business environment of government contractors, vendors and products requires not only a deep understanding of an agency’s mission but also wide-ranging knowledge about the hardware and systems available to meet specific needs. This is particularly true for systems integration services, and it is often an area where external IT experts who also have government experience can make a big impact.
Regardless of the resources agencies have available internally, almost all of them can benefit from additional support. IT providers can apply their broad experience and the most up-to-date technical knowledge to develop better solutions, and they can pull together a suite of products and services from known and trusted sources. They also often have the institutional knowledge to support legacy systems and to bridge technical gaps through services or updates when replacement is not an option.
Budget constraints over the past years have added to the challenge of bringing the latest capabilities to military and government agencies. Agencies often have had to compromise within their current legacy systems, preserving as much of the infrastructure as possible.
However, Stephen Ridgeway, executive vice president for the federal sector, IMPRES Technology Solutions Inc., points out that there may be a light at the end of the tunnel on this point. Although sequestration tightened U.S. Defense Department budgets and limited funding for modernization and migration projects, the new budget covers two years of spending, which enables agencies to consider upgrading or replacing legacy systems, he says.
Ridgeway’s company has both government experience and extensive knowledge of the products and firms in the federal IT space. It can support an agency planning a major upgrade of its IT infrastructure or an agency moving to a cloud computing model. Ridgeway explains that regardless of the scope of a project, government decision makers need to be aware of not only best practices but also potential pitfalls, and companies such as his can assist them in gaining and applying that knowledge.
Although some details may differ, cybersecurity is always a high priority, whether working for the Defense Department or the Agriculture Department. IMPRES’ main role with IT modernization and migration is ensuring the security of its customers’ enterprise networks. Working with industry and boutique specialist firms, the company can develop solutions tailored to specific organizational requirements, either for warfighters or civilian agencies.
In working with its Defense Department customers, IMPRES focuses on tightening network defenses. “There are a multitude of different access points to get into DOD networks, and if you can reduce that footprint, then that’s a good thing because you have fewer access points to monitor and more chokepoints that you can defend against from potential attacks,” Ridgeway says.
Security remains the top concern for many chief information officers because a data breach could compromise national security and ruin an agency’s reputation. For the Defense Department and intelligence agencies, loss of data can be a matter of life or death.
The United States is in a state of constant cyber warfare against a variety of foes. Every day, Ridgeway says his company helps fight that war by identifying antiquated technology that is vulnerable and/or needs replacement and by identifying software or system threats that may serve as a back door for foreign actors.
To learn more, read “Deep Knowledge: How IMPRES Technology Helps Government Customers” in the free SIGNAL Media Resource Library.