Modernized information technology is a fundamental prerequisite to taking advantage of new and emerging capabilities to improve mission delivery in the digital age. Yet, legacy systems continue to create challenges and roadblocks for commercial and government organizations, including our U.S. federal agency clients.
Delivering and maintaining mission-critical services on antiquated systems is a material drain on budgets. The risk of service interruptions continues to grow, and inflexible systems are a significant barrier to change. At the same time, the federal government also is competing with the private sector for the digital skillsets they need.
How can federal agencies break this difficult cycle? Hybrid IT.
Most agencies are not in a position to abandon their legacy applications, but still want to adopt emerging technologies to reduce total cost of ownership and better fulfill mission objectives. Bimodal capabilities that combine traditional IT environments and approaches with optimized and agile methods are becoming an attractive option for agencies in the digital age. Such strategies allow agencies to transition to a hybrid IT portfolio of both cloud-based and legacy environments, while maintaining requirements for mission-critical systems.
Moving to a hybrid IT environment creates opportunities for agencies to:
- Improve mission-IT alignment: ensuring program and IT leaders work together to closely align mission and IT resources, prioritize investments and better manage their IT portfolios
- Innovate: considering new approaches to preserving existing investments and filling capability gaps, while incorporating emerging technologies
- Reduce risk: optimizing IT resources through rationalization and workload balancing to reduce risk and redundancy in agency IT investments
- Reduce costs: using dashboards and analytics to streamline asset management and increase utilization and automation to realize real cost savings and efficiencies
- Increase agility: using cloud-based environments to gain unprecedented agility and scalability to innovate and adopt leaner operations models
The overall IT modernization strategy then becomes the basis for annual reporting and oversight. It should define the business mission, scope and intended outcomes. It should also prioritize the systems to be modernized, combined, eliminated or continued in their current state.
To support the strategy, agencies should also move to establish working capital funds for the modernization of prioritized systems identified in the strategy; make additional funding available for prioritized systems transitioning to the cloud; accelerate acquisition and deployment of modernized IT; and allow cloud services to be purchased on a consumption basis instead of a fixed quantity basis.
Understanding the importance of governance in IT modernization and hybrid IT adoption from working on numerous implementations, CGI specifically designed our CGI Unify360 hybrid IT management portfolio with a strong governance framework.
About this author
Vice-President, CGI Federal Emerging Technologies Practice
As the Cloud Practice Lead within CGI Federal’s Emerging Technologies Practice, John supports client relationship development for the federal market, as well as opportunities around the globe. He oversees technical delivery and consulting services and the CGI Unify360 hybrid IT management suite. John joined CGI ...