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FCW : April 15, 2016
The network is the lifeblood of federal agencies' many missions today. The readiness of people and organizations to do the work required by the mission depends more and more on leveraging a reliable, resilient and secure network to access and share information. However, much of today's network architecture was developed more than a decade ago when applications and data storage were primarily on-site. Today, data is stored in multiple, often off-site locations and mission applications are often cloud based to enable greater collaboration and consistency. Additionally, government users today are mobile, and consequently must have and expect anytime, anywhere access to data. In many cases, existing agency network architectures have created complex legacy ecosystems not optimized for today's network utilization. This results in service delivery, provisioning, troubleshooting and repair challenges, not to mention a complex cyber-resiliency challenge. Maintaining these legacy networks is costing federal agencies a small fortune. Agencies report that they spend 80 percent of their IT budgets just on maintaining legacy IT systems. That doesn't leave much funding left for innovation and transformation. Just as missions have transformed, the approach to network architecture must transform. We are on the precipice of a network evolution that requires thinking differently about network architecture, one in which we give up the belief that the network is rigid, inflexible, static and often considered "in the way" of innovation and service delivery. THE PATH TO CONTINUED INNOVATION If an agency's network isn't as efficient as it could be, and isn't sufficiently elastic to support dynamic bandwidth requirements, then what's the solution? A simple answer would be to upgrade the network, but that is likely to be an imperfect fix. The better solution requires changing people's mindsets from network patches to network transformation, which allows continuous innovation to achieve needed efficiency and security while future-proofing the network. "As newer cybersecurity solutions are introduced and continually evolve, the agencies' underlying networks need to be able to take advantage of the capabilities they afford," said Tim Meehan, Senior Vice President and General Manager of CenturyLink Government. Adopting a network transformation mindset means combining best-of-breed technology Navigating Next-Generation Networks Simply refreshing network technology is no longer suf cient. Agencies need to be thinking about network transformation and innovation. Sponsored Content SPECIAL REPORT NETWORK TRANSFORMATION shutterstock.com
March 30, 2016
April 30, 2016