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.
This study aims to help commercial real estate professionals understand the way tenants and investors are using the internet to search for property and make lease and purchase decisions.
Market Connections conducted a blind, online survey to examine the online search behavior and sentiments of commercial tenants and investors. Google supplemented the survey results with internal data on commercial real estate search behavior, engagement and trends to provide a 360-degree view of commercial real estate search habits.
The end of service support of Windows Server 2003 prompted many agencies to migrate — or consider migrating—to Windows Server 2012. The decision to migrate creates apprehension about the impact on service and productivity. Tools are available to facilitate management and compliance, reduce risk and prevent service disruptions and productivity loss to ensure a migration has no impact on an agency’s systems.
Dell Software commissioned Market Connections to find out the status of agency migrations and the migration barriers agencies face.
Federal agencies’ virtualized infrastructure requires monitoring and automation to optimize and fine-tune systems. Maintaining multiple hypervisors can require multiple tools that only present a partial view of the environment.
Agencies tend to use more than one hypervisor because they all have different functions, strengths and costs. This may be efficient operationally, but is very expensive to manage, and comparing the data between the hypervisors is difficult, if not impossible.
Dell Software contracted Market Connections to assess agencies’ virtual environment management practices and the challenges and concerns related virtual monitoring.
As government agencies handle increasing volumes of information, it falls to every person within an agency to manage and protect vital records. In addition to traditional paper documents, records can include everything from emails to photos to electronic files. With so much information to manage and so many people handling the information, are federal records at risk?
Strong records management policies and practices, coupled with formal training, internal controls and communication, will keep agency records safe and meet federal records management regulations. When agencies take these steps congruently, they can boost confidence in their information management processes, increase productivity and expand access to information, all while complying with federal mandates.
Adopting BYOD and VDI Programs
A new Market Connections study commissioned by NetApp shows that schools are realizing benefits as a result of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) that supports BYOD, or students bringing their own devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets into the classroom.
Market Connections on behalf of NetApp conducted a study of schools and districts across the country to understand to what extent schools are implementing BYOD and VDI programs, the outcomes they are seeing, and how other technology considerations fit into the overall challenges and solutions involved.
More than half of respondents including schools and districts (57%) have realized savings, reduced costs and enhanced learning, which are believed to be the greatest benefits of BYOD. At both the district and school level, BYOD is on decision- makers’ minds; 73% believe BYOD implementation is essential to success.
With regard to VDI, research shows that for those implementing a VDI solution, nearly all (96%) report some level of technology budget savings and more than half of respondents have seen improved performance as a result of implementing virtual desktops. Interestingly with VDI, cost was cited as the top challenge for adoption despite nearly every single respondent indicating budget savings.
“In a K-12 environment where educators and administrators wear multiple hats, VDI offers an opportunity for schools to increase efficiency, decrease costs, and use fewer resources by making rapid changes across thousands of desktops. The benefits of VDI allow schools to focus on their core mission: education and learning anytime, any place,” said Regina Kunkle, Vice President, State, Local, and Education, NetApp U.S. Public Sector.
ABOUT THE STUDY
The NetApp 2013 K-12 Education VDI & BYOD Online Survey explores the challenges, barriers, and concerns relative to VDI and BYOD for IT decision makers and influencers in the K-12 education marketplace. Schools represented 61% of respondents, school districts 36%, and those with a joint role 3%. Of the school districts represented, two out of three report an enrollment of 3,001-5,000 students. Most respondents describe their primary role as administrator, IT/MIS/IRM or teacher/instructor. Two out of three respondents anticipate their school/district will invest between$20K and $1M in technology over the next 12 to 18 months. For a full report and analysis of the study, download the white paper.
NetApp’s efficient, cost-effective data storage and management solutions meet education’s IT infrastructure needs. NetApp’s unified storage solutions, with superior storage efficiency, can help educational institutions manage data growth, comply with mandates, and meet Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening standards—all while lowering total cost of ownership. NetApp’s dedication to principles of simplicity, innovation, and customer success has made them one of the fastest-growing storage and data management providers today. For more information and case studies about NetApp’s BYOD and VDI solutions for schools, visit www.netapp.com/edu.
Studies predict there will be 40 exabytes of data by 2020. As the volume of data grows, data analytics will become increasingly important in shaping the future of federal agency policies and services.
To get the most from big data analytics—and to make these, and other far-reaching agency initiatives possible—federal agencies need better analytics. Collecting data means little if analytics are not in place, or the existing tools don’t have the ability to extrapolate actionable insights. Many agency department managers don’t realize how many staff hours go into managing this data, or how much information is not being used because the data is outdated by the time it is compiled or because the tools being used can’t access all of the insights.
Given the importance of robust data analytics solutions, data analytics company Qlik commissioned government market research firm Market Connections, Inc. to assess how federal agencies are using analytics, and to what extent.
Nearly all Americans today are using cell phones, with a growing number of U.S. households relying solely on mobile devices for communication. Yet most citizens do not realize that existing 9-1-1 emergency systems do not handle mobile data accurately—location data from mobile phones can be inexact and text messages may not even reach traditional 9-1-1 call centers.
How quickly are local and state government entities adopting Next Generation 9-1-1 systems (NG9-1-1) to protect their citizenry? Are current updates enough?
To gauge government entities’ understanding of the needs associated with the changing emergency response system, General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) commissioned Market Connections to determine how far along state and local governments are in planning and implementing NG9-1-1 systems, as well as the challenges they face.