Insight by Cisco

The future of the US Federal Government

Cloud Smart is about enabling the simplest strategy to adopt cloud technology through three key pillars: security, procurement, and workforce.

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Around the world, governments are dreaming about and deploying their visions of the future, and there are a lot of exciting and new things happening to take government to the next level. For example, we just announced the first FedRAMP Ready cloud-based SD-WAN solution to help government organizations accelerate their IT modernization and cloud adoption journey.

As we enter this new year – and a new decade – the #FutureOfPublicSector series takes a look at the way countries and governments around the world are facing the next decade of transformation.

Imagine your life in ten years.

As we start the 2020s and look back on the intense transformations that occurred during the last decade, it is impossible not to look forward: to wonder – what will our lives look like ten years from today? What will our homeland, the United States, look like in 2030?

The United States and the U.S. Federal Government are in a time of rapid change: with higher citizen expectations for services, ever-evolving technologies, and changing system requirements driving the need for digital transformation. The Future of the United States Federal Government is all about enabling agility. Agility is driven by the shift to a cloud-ready network. But – what does agility look like on such a massive scale? And how can you implement it and enable it quickly and reliably?

Into the clouds: enabling cloud adoption

To enable agility, we need cloud-ready networks and a shift from a “Cloud First” mentality to a “Cloud Smart” perspective. So, what does Cloud Smart mean?

Cloud Smart is about enabling the simplest strategy to adopt cloud technology through three key pillars: security, procurement, and workforce. This strategy enables Federal agencies to prepare for an IT environment in transition.

However, we believe that there is one additional piece that will enhance the Cloud Smart formula: the network. The network is where it begins. It is the platform, the foundation, on which the pillars stand. We can think of network as the “on-ramp” to the cloud. The network connects everything – people, machines, and data. It also connects all operational environments from premise to the cloud and out to the edge  to enable critical business and mission needs. And with a successfully implemented network, the government can provide speedy, secure services to all stakeholders. Now, that’s agility.

Enhancing the user experience of agencies and citizens

Cloud Smart adoption enables government agencies to increase the agility of missions, drive innovation, discover existing and new synergies in IT efforts, and better address the growing volumes of data and policies surrounding that data.

Cloud Smart means providing an enhanced user experience. It means better enabling government IT agencies to be more productive and to overcome existing challenges. Cloud Smart also means enhancing the user experience of citizens who use the services provided through the cloud.

The need for secure connections

According to Accenture, “86% of federal leaders say that collaboration with the private sector over the next four years will be key to building cyber-resilience and thwarting attacks.”

The government agencies of 2020 largely rely on central network architectures. The government agencies of 2030 will enable distributed applications that rely on edge and cloud computing. This decentralization will require significant evolutions in the agencies’ security infrastructure so that all users can securely access what they need to do their work. Providing this experience will require significant updates in SD-WAN capabilities.

Improving services

The Federal government is spending more than ever before on digitization – with IT funding increasing from $85.2 billion to $92.4 billion between 2018 and 2019. In 2030, the U.S. Federal Government will continue the movement toward digitized experiences and services offered through online platforms. The need to securely provide applications to citizens will drive investments in application development, a cloud-based infrastructure, and intensified security investments. From public health tools to more streamlined public services to applications to improve the experiences provided in cities and communities, the government will invest in modernizing its current resources. Furthermore, the Federal Data Strategy will evolve to allow data to empower citizens and drive innovation, while constantly assessing the necessary guardrails around data distribution and use. This focus and investment starting today will allow for increased savings, improved citizen experience, and an ease in the deployment of future digital services.

Bridge to possible

The U.S. Federal Government is investing in its future, looking to the future with 20-20 vision and a clear perspective on what a successful digital transformation can look like. This future is not only to improve efficiencies and processes within the government, but will directly impact the lives of citizens like you and me.

At Cisco, we believe in the power of connections and the ability of the network to enable the federal government to transform vision into reality. We are committed to serving those who protect, serve and educate.

Learn more from Cisco at

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