In the new remote and hybrid work reality, connectivity is everything. And it’s become apparent what the federal government’s needs are when it comes to adopting and deploying reliable, secure connectivity solutions. More robust 5G adoption is the logical next step for many federal agencies, particularly ones managing disparate workforces. Whether it’s the result of embracing a more flexible working environment, or an agency’s mission is remote by nature (i.e. defense, disaster response, etc.), the need for more comprehensive, 5G-powered connectivity is clear.
“5G will completely change the landscape of the federal space,” remarked Rick Ailstock, Lead Technical Sales SE for Partner Relationships at FCN Inc. “Work is already quickly becoming more distributed, flexible, and demanding in terms of connection and collaboration, with no signs of slowing.” The velocity with which the federal work landscape has changed, and continues to change, cannot be understated according to Ailstock.
Many arms of the federal government are exploring how 5G networks can best be implemented and utilized to power the next iteration of federal work. One strong example can be found within the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
“5G is touted as the unifying connectivity fabric that will link virtually everything and expand mobile communications to encompass new services, applications and deployments,” stated Kathryn Coulter Mitchell, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for S&T. Mitchell recently expanded on the ongoing research projects from S&T titled Secure and Resilient Mobile Network Infrastructure (SRMNI) and Emergency Communications Research and Development (R&D) Program, with the goals of making “communications technology more secure for federal government and public safety use.”
“Secure” is an operative term in this description from Mitchell. Security is, of course, always top-of-mind for federal IT decision makers, and it should be given the aggressive increase in cyber threats seen over the last year and a half. Ransomware attacks alone saw a 148 percent uptick in the early throes of the pandemic. Ailstock urges federal agencies to keep security among their priorities as they move towards new connectivity approaches.
“Secure 5G adoption will be a core driver of digital transformation, but there must be a robust deployment and adoption of secure networks,” Ailstock said. “No matter how well-designed an application is, if it’s not secure, it may as well not exist.”
But how exactly can 5G tangibly change the work environment of federal employees?
Ailstock poses that 5G has the capability to change the federal IT landscape outright. “Adapting to COVID and what that working environment required changed how and where we work and how we access data. 5G can help federal IT teams efficiently track and manage increasingly spread-out devices, allowing quicker access and lower latency, but much more, extend coverage into rural areas where the Internet is not yet reliable.”
This application does not only equip federal employees in the field with the data and resources they need to deliver on their mission. It also enables federal agencies to connect with their constituencies more seamlessly, no matter their location, and better understand their needs and expectations of the federal government.
You can learn more about creating and embracing a hyper-connected federal IT landscape by downloading this graphic from FCN Inc. and Dell Technologies.