Emerging Trends in the U.S. Federal Government
Almost seven years ago, the White House issued its 25-point Implementation Plan to reform federal IT that mandated federal agencies “evaluate safe, secure, cloud computing options before making any new IT investments.” The U.S. federal government seems poised to enter a new era of cloud computing after the last seven years of trial and error yielded important lessons learned and repeatable best practices. What about cloud is working or not working? Are federal agencies fully realizing the promised cost savings? How pervasive is cloud adoption? What workloads are agencies putting into the cloud? Nutanix commissioned Market Connections to survey a representative audience of federal IT managers and leaders to find the answers to these questions.
Is the Government Constructing a Solid Foundation?
As agency priorities change, so does the field of Federal Information Management — today it goes beyond records management to encompass data analytics, digital storage and archiving, cloud strategies and managing the risks associated with all of these things.
Based on a 2015 study Iron Mountain sponsored with the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM) that surveyed industry professionals in the commercial sector about the evolution of information management, Iron Mountain commissioned Market Connections, Inc. to answer these questions for the federal government. The study looked at agency priorities regarding records management, the expectations organizations have of their information professionals over the next three to five years and how respondents see themselves in relation to these growing expectations.
For the last three years, SolarWinds has commissioned Market Connections to conduct an annual survey to determine the cybersecurity threats that most impact federal agencies. The study looks at what respondents perceive as the biggest threats their agencies face, the consequences of breaches, where respondents feel their agencies are vulnerable and the challenges they face in securing their agencies against cyber threats.
In the first two years of the study, internal threats emerged as the most pressing cyber threat in federal agencies. In the most recent study, a new trend has emerged: agencies are feeling increasingly vulnerable to outside threats. While agencies feel positive about how they have addressed the challenges of unintended internal threats, now they are turning their attention toward external threats from a host of sources, including foreign governments, hacktivists and terrorists.
An Effective and Efficient Path to Federal IT Modernization
The cost of maintaining and refreshing legacy hardware-centric infrastructure is responsible for soaking up a majority of IT budgets. Federal agencies can often do little more than maintain the status quo on Administration priorities such as cybersecurity, data center consolidation and cloud computing. While IT managers are fully aware that legacy systems are expensive, brittle, inefficient, time consuming to maintain and an obstacle to successfully addressing Administration priorities, many are unsure or unaware of the options. A solution to these challenges may be transitioning from legacy architectures to Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI).
To help IT managers grappling with the challenges of modernizing their network and wondering if HCI makes sense for their agency, Nutanix commissioned Market Connections to determine the degree to which federal IT managers are using HCI and the impact using (or not using) it has on the pressing needs and challenges agencies face.
This national study of federal government contractors focuses on top challenges and best practices of contractors with higher win rates, including the most effective marketing and business development activities, strategies to remain competitive and expected changes in budgets, staffing and new business strategies. Market Connections and Salesforce partnered to design the online survey of 200 federal government contractors, fielded in May 2016.
- Identify best practices of winning government contractors
- Identify challenges of marketing and business development professionals
- Determine actions to remain competitive in the current federal government market
- Measure effectiveness of marketing materials, activities and tools
- Quantify changes in personnel, budgets, tools, teaming and communications among government contractors
Fill out the form below to download the overview.
In 2013, Market Connections conducted a Federal Mobility PulsePoll™ to gauge how critical mobile devices were to federal employees and how it affected their productivity. To follow up on the original study, in 2016 Market Connections polled 200 federal decision-makers who use mobile devices for work-related tasks. The objectives in repeating the PulsePoll™ were to view trends in mobile use for work-related tasks; follow up on how mobile devices affect productivity; and to delve deeper into the type of work-related content and media federal decision-makers are viewing on their devices outside of traditional business hours.
Trends, Risks and Benefits
The growth of global IT data center traffic is increasing pressure on the network to deliver data reliably and efficiently. How organizations transport, store, manage and protect their data is more critical than ever. In the past, organizations have used SAN storage for mission-critical data and IP storage for noncritical workloads. However, because IP storage solutions are perceived as less expensive and easy to implement and manage, many commercial companies are now using IP storage for all types of data.
Brocade commissioned Market Connections to see if the federal market mirrors this trend and to uncover the concerns and pain points of managing storage and storage networks.
Shadow IT, Mobile, Shared Services
Take Control of your Agency’s IT
To find more efficient ways to deliver IT services, many federal program offices are looking beyond what their internal IT department provides through Shadow IT and mobile technology. At the same time, IT departments are streamlining resources by using IT shared services. While each offers benefits, such as faster development times, easier access, and increased efficiency, adopting these technology trends presents challenges to agency IT departments.
IT professionals feel they have less control over how technology is being used due to Shadow IT and mobile technology use. It make them less confident in the security of the agency’s data and ability of their network to run efficiently. SolarWinds commissioned Market Connections to learn to what extent these technologies are being used at federal agencies and the resulting challenges faced by their IT departments.
Maintain State & Local IT Budget with Consistent Compliance Practices
State and local agency IT departments are stretched thin even as they work diligently to address three key operational challenges: compliance requirements and federal mandates, increased cyber threats and increasingly shrinking budgets. Given these challenges, it’s common for routine maintenance tasks to slip.
Dell Software commissioned Market Connections to poll state and local IT workers on awareness of, and attitudes toward, the use of GRC software in state and local government agencies, especially the features they deem most critical when selecting a tool.
The constant focus on malicious attacks from outsiders has prompted increased investment in preventing breaches. However, federal cybersecurity managers know that the greatest threats are actually people on the inside; and this threat is the most difficult to manage.
Following up on a 2014 study, SolarWinds commissioned Market Connections to uncover challenges federal agencies face in addressing cybersecurity threats; gauge confidence in preventing those threats; and measure changes in concern and investment to combat different types of threats.