Feds look to streamline IT services
Companies of all industries understand the benefits of outsourcing IT services to third party providers. Working with a contractor can improve efficiency, productivity and boost return on investment. Third party providers offer expertise and resources most companies do not have access to otherwise, allowing for guaranteed network management and performance without heavy investment in infrastructure and maintenance. Companies can allocate time, energy and funding to other departments such as customer service and human resources, while third party providers maintain strong back-office efficiency for optimal performance.
Just as companies use third party providers to remain competitive in respective markets, federal agencies are also turning to IT service providers to ensure high-quality solutions while reducing problems and mitigating risks. Rather than supporting a separate IT department, the federal government is contracting with experts to improve efficiency while lowering costs and optimizing use of available resources.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently partnered with a third party IT service provider after its budget was tightened even further despite increased demands for modernization. The department's IT systems were in need of upgrades and increased maintenance support, all of which will be provided by the third party company with minimal investment from the federal government.
The DHS is the third largest cabinet department, and has continually struggled to maintain its operations and stay innovative while in line with budgetary restrictions. The department has a history of working hard to tie together its computer systems across all constituent agencies and achieve seamless interoperability. The department, however, has failed to do so efficiently without third party provider support.
Therefore, the DHS decided to streamline its infrastructure by deploying enterprise-wide service bundles provided by a contracting partner. The services can be used to reduce the size of data centers while improving return on investment and lowering operational costs across the board. The department had to first create a strong infrastructure of services before it could reduce the number of data centers operating under its umbrella. This past June, the department completed its consolidation efforts of physical infrastructure, allowing managers to refocus on consolidating services and reducing costs with third party providers.
The department is also looking to create and manage new software environments that will support various projects across all entities. The department will disband the environments, reallocate their resources and continue with improved operations, aided in part by third party providers. The goal of the effort is to create an environment that would allow the development and testing of innovative ideas quickly. This would replace the traditional system that took weeks or months for ideas to be tested.