As the pace of IT, evolution, and refresh cycles accelerate, even more, it can be difficult for federal agencies to keep up with the pace of change. Given the pace of tech evolution, it can be challenging for an agency to keep abreast of all the developments taking place in the industry for one technology let alone for the suite of apps, tools, and services required for an enterprise-grade network.
While it might seem tempting to turn to external consultants to piece together a network of the future from standalone COTS products, there is another approach that can help the agency scale at the speed of technological change and avoid interoperability issues with a unified capability. Increasingly, agencies are turning to managed network services (MNS) to help manage the complexity of running and maintaining a network that is mission-ready and fit-for-purpose not just for today but for the future as well.
We caught up with Lamont Copeland, Director of Federal Solutions Architecture at Verizon to talk about why MNS is key to today’s federal missions and to get some expert guidance on common questions agency IT leaders have about managed network services.
For Copeland, what’s most important about MNS is that it helps support the mission by facilitating technology advancements and essential upgrades without adding to the burden of the IT team or introducing complexities that can disrupt network operations when an update is pushed live. “For agencies looking to upgrade managed services are essential,” Copeland explained. “Managed network services simplify the process of upgrading to the next technology set as well as daily operations and maintenance. A managed network services provider should be a trusted partner that can lay out a roadmap for continuous improvement to make sure everything is upgraded and continues to deliver without interruption.”
But a continuous improvement to technology while important isn’t the only benefit of an MNS approach. It just so happens that MNS is good for agency workers as well. “When IT teams first to learn about MNS there are sometimes concerns about displacement, but once MNS is deployed job satisfaction often increases,” Copeland explained. “Agency IT teams are already stretched thin and what MNS facilitates is the shifting of responsibility from management and maintenance of the IT infrastructure to the partner, while the agency team is freed up to focus activities requiring agency, or mission-specific knowledge. In removing the routine care and upkeep, agency personnel is empowered to innovate for the benefit of stakeholders and constituents.”
Another virtue that Copeland was eager to highlight during our conversation is that MNS reduces security concerns for agencies. “With the stakes, so high agencies need to consider the security implications of everything that is added to, or that touches, the networks today,” noted Copeland. “Far from introducing vulnerabilities, MNS can help enable agencies to build a more robust security culture. One of the most important steps at the beginning of a managed services relationship is to share the relevant information about where the gates, protocols, and procedures are going to be set into place and how the information will continue to be shared and updated.”
The reliability, flexibility, scalability, and protection that come from choosing managed network services are paramount to strategic success in an increasingly complex world. “As agencies look to implement AI from RPA to the most complex missions at the Department of Defense, the knowledge that your network is ready to operate at speed and scale is the most important consideration,” concluded Copeland. “With an experienced partner and trusted advisor taking care of the fundamentals of daily operations and providing transparency and a clear vision of what is happening in the infrastructure and across the network agencies will become more efficient, more capable, and poised to meet tomorrow’s missions head-on.”
Ready to learn more about managed network services? You can do that here.