Insight by CenturyLink

How to enable IT modernization through network, cyber improvements

This December will be one year since the White House released its final IT modernization strategy.

Federal CIO Suzette Kent mentioned in August that OMB and the agency lead teams have accomplished 40 of 52 tasks outlined in that plan. She expects the final 12 to be done before the end of the year.

The Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract, which is run by GSA and includes nine vendors including CenturyLink, is mentioned 19 times throughout the strategy. There are three discrete tasks that focus on the impact OMB expects EIS to have on agencies.

EIS provides access to next-generation voice, video and data services on an enterprise level for all agencies.

In fact, GSA and OMB have been very clear in telling agencies that EIS should underpin nearly all IT modernization efforts.

In the IT modernization strategy, OMB says EIS provides access to managed security tools and services, help small and micro agencies access new capabilities and consolidate acquisition of these telecommunications and security services.

“Each agency has a different set of opportunities in how they categorize them and what’s important, whether mission side or administrative side, or whether they will share services or look for an outsourced model,” said David Young, the vice president of strategic government for CenturyLink. “IT modernization is different today than we would’ve talked about it for the last 30 years. It’s a lifestyle now. If we’d go back in time, we’d see technology change with the length of contracts. We were very fortunate to have lived in that cycle. If you look at the network, EIS is the fourth version of GSA’s contract. What we are seeing now is the technology is changing quicker than the contract evolution. EIS is a 15-year contract and I guarantee you technology will change multiple times throughout the course of these 15 years. Where we were fortunate in the past to be able to build a static network to handle all of these changes, today’s world the network is elastic and continues to move and morph.”

IT Modernization Strategy

Our long-term goal at the Marshals is to go ahead and get into the cloud. Right now, I’m looking at govcloud solutions, but I’m not ruling out that there may not be a hybrid approach with a government run cloud combined with a commercial cloud capability. We are going to do what is optimal for delivery of services and what’s optimal for the taxpayer in terms of cost.

The Changing Lifestyle of IT Modernization

With the right security, we can begin to take those same technologies that we are solving for our commercial customers and bring them to bear in the federal marketplace. The EIS contract is like a grocery store because it has all of the things the enterprise has been buying and now the federal government has the wherewithal, the ability to get at and deploy those technologies for themselves.

Security and Best Practices

In preparation for IT modernization and to expand and improve our network capabilities, we’ve streamlined the compliance process and procedures, shifting from an initial compliance process that was on the more static side to a more iterative, monitoring compliance approach. We’ve also taken the gauntlet in investing more in patch management system upgrades and enhance monitoring protection and remediation capabilities.

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