The technology field is always in a state of change thanks to innovation, changing market demands, and new agency-driven needs. For federal IT organizations, this means striking a balance between maintaining operational excellence and meeting the demanding changes of the agency without falling behind the technology curve or disrupting critical services.
To help navigate what the next five years might look like, Government Technology Insider editors connected with Rick Schindel, SVP of Global Sales for Future Tech Enterprise, Inc. (Future Tech), about his perspective on how the landscape will evolve and the technology that will support these changes.
According to Schindel, “Over the next five years, agency and public sector needs will be quickly changing and adapting in light of COVID, the turmoil in the supply chain, and the tidal forces now active within the labor market.” He also noted that the technology to support these evolving needs will also be impacted, which includes IT support and remote and hybrid work solutions.
Schindel’s predictions for the future federal IT market include:
Hybrid Work is Here to Stay: The demand for hybrid work modes will continue to rise and evolve.
Whether it is driven by a larger, sustained “work-from-home” model, the need for greater access from a variety of devices (mobility, tablets, etc.), or the dispersal of the workforce across a greater geographic landscape, federal IT decision makers will be tasked with supporting a far larger and more complex set of end point devices than before.
The federal IT group, in concert with their security teams, will be tasked with providing advanced capabilities through a variety of secure devices to a broad spectrum of employees and teammates. In light of the latest Executive Order on Cybersecurity from the Biden Administration, security will be at the forefront of all implementations. This will require expertise and careful planning to meet the seemingly divergent goals of agency needs, cybersecurity, and IT operational / cost efficiency.
Cloud Adoption Evolves to Hybrid Multi-Cloud model: Federal IT teams within agencies that have been tasked with moving into the cloud has learned that a one-cloud-for-all strategy is too limiting, too expensive, and robs the agency of freedom to move as the organization (or technology) evolves. Therefore, a multi-tenant, multi-cloud approach will continue to evolve as the de facto configuration for most agency IT operations.
Data Consumption Fuels AI Growth: The nature of data consumption and use will change, primarily with computers at the edge. With the growth of AI, ML, and other data science tools in concert with the rapid expansion of the IOT and IIOT (Industrial IOT), the need for high-level “in-the-field” processing will continue to rise, as will the need for immediate-action data analysis. Whether it is performance data from a front-line system, or just rapid-response/real-time reaction to events, agencies will have an increasing demand for quick analysis, actionable data intelligence, and systems that can review, resolve, and respond faster than ever before.
As a result, federal agency IT teams will have to increase their compute near the edge capabilities to incorporate higher-end, on-site computer, storage, analysis capabilities that are still tied to centralized (possibly cloud) databanks for longer term inference and analysis. Typically, this is seen as a pendulum swinging back and forth between cloud and on-prem but in these cases, that analogy breaks, because the need is for both. On-prem computation is local, immediate, and often a key business discriminator from an execution perspective. Cloud services, on the other hand, allow for a much larger landscape, greater long-term analysis and computation, and provide businesses with strategic insights and opportunities.
To hear more from Rick Schindel, click here to watch his video on the future of computing.