The Importance of IT Modernization for Government Agencies
IT modernization is no longer a “nice to have” for government agencies. It’s a requirement. With several federal government initiatives, IT modernization is an absolute necessity, from the Modernizing Government Technology Act and its supporting Technology Modernization Fund to FEDRamp cloud computing and cybersecurity requirements. IT modernization identifies new ideas and opportunities to ensure that all government agencies can meet mission requirements today and in the future. One significant difference between legacy and today’s modern systems is that older infrastructure was structured and not designed for ongoing change. Modern technologies are built to scale, allowing entities to stay modernized with new releases over time. This ability to learn, grow, and improve over time enables entities to rise and remain secure. The continuous monitoring of cybersecurity threats allows ongoing improvements in this area to combat vulnerabilities.
What is IT Modernization?
IT modernization is retooling legacy systems and products and adopting leading-edge technologies to best prepare organizations to serve their customers and citizens while optimally protecting sensitive data. This digital transformation typically includes adopting and integrating applications related to digital workflows and automation, cyber security, and cloud computing for connectivity.
What are the Benefits of IT Modernization in Government Agencies?
Government agencies benefit from the modernization of applications in several ways, some of which may seem surprising and even counterintuitive. Upgraded products: technology advances that are faster and more efficient are often perceived as coming at a higher cost. Instead, many IT organizations experience that the initial prices of these services and software are lower than expected; they quickly pay off in ROI and through the technological advances of these disruptive technologies. In short, when IT leaders modernize their legacy applications, they see:
- Initial cost savings and lower cost of maintenance
- Built-in pathways for scalability
- Easy ongoing updates
- Automation of redundant business processes
- Increased agility through cloud adoption, like a private cloud or hybrid cloud infrastructure, and API integrations
- More robust cybersecurity with excellent security controls
IT modernization allows local, state, and federal agencies to work and collaborate more efficiently with other agency leaders, businesses, business units and large enterprises, and citizens at large.
5 Factors for IT Modernization Success
No matter the industry, the process of IT modernization can seem daunting, yet most companies and agencies report seeing the rewards immediately. Employees will see the benefit of accelerated workloads. Search processes are more straightforward. Redundant tasks are automated. And the whole system is more secure. What factors play a role in the success?
Align IT with the Government Agency
The agency’s vision has to be in alignment with the IT approach. For instance, accessibility is often at odds with security, as ultra-secure environments create more friction in the customer’s government services experience. IT and senior leaders must agree on parameters upfront so that the IT architecture aligns with expectations.
Simplify and Optimize IT
Although it may seem counterintuitive, when the IT team can simplify processes with innovation and new technologies, it helps optimize the IT overall. Integration of machine learning and artificial intelligence sets up the agency for the future, as these technologies continue to improve over time.
Modernize Applications and Data
Legacy data silos are at the heart of many IT challenges. Data centers must change. They need to be securely cleansed and upgraded to modernize the local and federal government, making them accessible to their supporting applications. Service providers like Velosimo can efficiently deliver modern connected digital experiences to citizens and staff through their revolutionary ready-made connectors.
Operate and Secure at Scale
Cybersecurity remains a top priority in any IT modernization project. In the Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2017, Congress found that 75% of the federal government’s IT funds were spent on legacy technology, posing security risks and an inability to meet mission-critical requirements. Thus, the goal of every IT modernization project is to be scalable and meet the agency’s needs in the future and do it securely.
Protect accounts and workloads
As the threats of cybersecurity increase nationally and worldwide, IT teams must look to deploy dependable security services to support their missions. Each agency partner must evaluate its workforce to determine what solutions should be implemented. Two types of workloads typically need additional protection: remote workforce security, which uses identity protocols to allow officials to collaborate through a secure platform, and web portal security, which protects web applications, each website, and internal data centers.
Overcoming the Challenges of IT Modernization in Government Agencies
Many government entities face roadblocks as they undertake the process of IT modernization. First and foremost, without a clear vision, agencies will struggle. Strong leadership support is imperative as most entities must overcome employee adoption pushback, even in the face of industry compliance requirements and growing risks of cybersecurity breaches. IT departments face the ongoing challenge of juggling immediate-need priorities with long-term projects and pushback during the transition as employees prepare for short-term inaccessibility to their workload. Organizations with limited internal resources may discover that working with outside service providers for application development and digital services can take action to fill the knowledge gaps and accelerate the process.
IT Modernization FAQs
What are modernization projects?
These are specific activities in which any business, organization, or government agency upgrades its existing equipment or technology to contemporary technological standards. This process results in more efficiencies for personnel and better security. It also helps the organization handle future challenges while supporting expansion and growth.
What are the critical components of government IT modernization?
Priorities may differ depending on the government entity, but the following areas are the typical targets for government IT modernization, given the federal government’s mandate:
- Upgrading cybersecurity to mitigate breaches
- Cloud computing enables scalability, accessibility, and agility
- Data center consolidation to enable collaboration across departments
- Shared services with modern IpaaS integrations