by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
FCW : January 2014
22 January 2014 FCW.COM In my previous columns on IT infra- structure, I discussed the importance of moving to a modern, standardized and consolidated IT infrastructure, at least at an agency-by-agency level. Such infrastructure rationalization is foundational for enabling IT to be most effective in helping government mission or business customers. Before moving on to other topics, let's address what I mean by a mod- ern, standardized and consolidated IT infrastructure. A number of viable models can work for an agency, depending on the size and complexity of its IT systems. Per- haps ironically, it concerns me when an agency relies on only one vendor to provide its IT infrastructure capa- bilities, even though one would think that is the de nition of consolidated. Instead, my experience shows that government is better served when there is regular competition for such services or at least the real threat of such competition. Too often, agencies get locked into long-term contracts that do not provide mechanisms for ensuring that an agency is keeping pace with ongoing improvements in technology. As a result, the agency falls further behind, making it exceedingly dif cult to introduce new capabilities and reduce overall operating costs. Agencies must take advantage of an approach that aligns with the mature commercial business models that serve large private-sector rms. A key com- ponent of an agency's IT infrastructure strategy should be leveraging cloud computing capabilities --- private clouds hosted at government data cen- ters or at a vendor's facility, together with public cloud services. The business model is compelling because it lowers overall capital costs and moves agencies to a consumption- based model. What is equally compel- ling is that cloud services are easy to benchmark in terms of service qual- ity and cost, which enables agencies to measure whether they are getting service at competitive prices. That helps ensure a fair deal today, and as services evolve, agencies can continue to benchmark offerings to ensure that their cloud service providers are stay- ing competitive. So what might a modern, standard and consolidated infrastructure look like at a government agency? In most cases, agencies will need an ongoing brick-and-mortar data center. Depending on its size and complexity, an agency might need multiple data centers to provide high-availability and disaster recovery capabilities. That might justify a small number of physical data centers but not the doz- ens or even hundreds that still exist at some of the large agencies. Some legacy applications cannot easily live in cloud architectures, and applications that house highly sensitive and even classi ed systems will need the phys- ical security controls of a dedicated data center. However, agencies should have plans to modernize legacy sys- tems to at least enable them to move to a highly virtualized environment. Furthermore, agencies should be migrating most of their applications from stand-alone servers dedicated to individual systems and to cloud services using production, develop- ment and test-as-a-service models. Enterprise commodity applications should be migrated to software-as-a- service models, with applications like CIOPerspective BY RICHARD A. SPIRES The steps agencies take now can contribute to an orderly and forward-looking IT consolidation IT infrastructure: How the cloud can increase ef ciency Richard A. Spires has been in the IT eld for more than 30 years, with eight years in federal govern- ment service. Most recently, he served as CIO at the Department of Homeland Security. He is now CEO of Resilient Network Systems.