Mobility, Big Data Offer Challenges, Opportunities for State Agencies

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2014-02-11

Data center consolidation, mobility, security, big data and cloud computing, the so-called Big Five, are headed for state and local agencies, and while the majority of state and local agencies will have deployed each of the Big Five by 2016, bigger challenges lie ahead, according to a survey from MeriTalk.

The vast majority of IT pros (94 percent) say their agency is not fully prepared for Big Five infrastructure requirements, and if they fully deployed the Big Five today, 63 percent of state and local IT pros say they would face network bottleneck risks and 89 percent say they would need additional network capacity to maintain the same service levels.

The majority of respondents believe greater collaboration is key, but just two out of five agencies are actively coordinating efforts across the Big Five. In addition, IT pros want leadership support including prioritization from leadership (54 percent), regular coordination across all initiatives (47 percent), and standardized documentation of infrastructure requirements (44 percent).

Long-term planning and standardization are considered to be critical to success, with survey respondents calling for standardized procedures for the whole organization instead of individual procedures for every installation, a clear plan that is disseminated to everyone, and prioritize needs against available resources.

More than half of respondents (52 percent) said they believe their organization’s senior leaders do not understand the combined impact of the Big Five on IT.

Clear prioritization from organization leadership was cited by 54 percent of respondents as something IT pros need from their senior leaders.

Regular structured coordination across each/all of the initiatives (47 percent), standardized documentation of infrastructure requirements (44 percent) and total ownership so that they can respond as needed (31 percent) were among the most common requests.

The majority (60 percent) of respondents said they believe that greater coordination across the Big Five would be beneficial to ensuring adequate IT infrastructure.

However, just two out of five state and local agencies are actively coordinating efforts across all of the Big Five, the report revealed.The report warns that while most agencies are planning to deploy all of the Big Five over the next three years, data volume and IT complexity continues to grow and capacity planning must start today.

As other agencies are charting the same territory, the report recommends state and local organizations to regularly dialogue with their peers and work closely with trusted industry partners to leverage best practices.

"Look for opportunities to eliminate organizational siloes. Big Five initiative leads should meet regularly, identify opportunities for shared time and cost savings, standardize processes and maintain clear communication with senior leadership," the report suggested.

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