Adilson Jardim, the area vice president for Splunk Public Sector Sales Engineering, said agencies can increase visibility into their networks and ensure apps are secure by implementing the agile methodology.
The federal government is almost seven years into its digital transformation journey. Going back to when former federal chief information officer Vivek Kundra announced the Obama administration’s 25-point IT reform plan with the move to cloud at the center of the effort.
Since then there has been a litany of policies, best practice guides, workshops, conferences and the like to help agencies on this journey.
Over the past seven years, agencies have had some successes like moving email and collaboration tools to the cloud.
Meanwhile, others have struggled with cloud efforts, such as what seems to be the constant fits and starts around data center consolidation.
The Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) scorecard is probably one of the best measures of the mixed successes of agencies. The agencies who have earned green scores in areas such as project oversight, agile development and CIO authorities tend to be the ones that are further along in the digital transformation journey.
Those with red scores tend to stay buried under legacy IT.
As IDC Government Insights said in a 2016 blog post about digital transformation, agencies face a fork in the road—stay with legacy IT or move into a greenfield initiative.
IDC stated digital transformation efforts should focus on the return on investment and the decision to modernize must understand all the factors including potential savings, improved system reliability and the impact on citizens or customers.
The problem is agencies tend not to have all these data points causing them to face paralysis by analysis.
So how can agencies find confidence in their decision to transform?
Adilson Jardim, the area vice president for Splunk Public Sector Sales Engineering, said on the Innovation in Government show that a recent survey of more than 1,200 federal, state, local and tribal government executives as well as defense and aerospace leaders found confidence in digital transformation efforts have flattened out or dropped over the last year.
“The predominant indicators was that over 72 percent of the respondents are still struggling with the lack of visibility across their IT operations. Their environments are still significantly siloed. When you think about that number of over 70 percent are still struggling with that, all of the downstream impacts of digital transformation are now effected by that,” Jardim said. “We found that digital transformation is very much happening. The transformations are moving. We did see successes with email and similar types of administration systems as well as back-office and traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.”
He said the lack of visibility across their networks and the continued siloed nature of systems is causing agencies to move more quickly down the transformation path.
Splunk and the Ponemon Institute’s survey found more than 70 percent of the respondents said they had little confidence they could triage and respond to incidents on their networks and systems.
“The lack of visibility, the lack of integration across the siloes and the transformation to the cloud has introduced this risk and lack of confidence that they are able to maintain IT operations and security across their environments,” he said. “Some of the other indicators showed many of the respondents didn’t believe they had the skillsets or the workforce to enable this digital transformation.”
Jardim said the light at the end of the digital transformation tunnel may just be the move to agile or dev/ops methodology to modernize IT systems.
“Respondents are anticipating more budget to go to dev/ops. When you think of dev/ops as a new paradigm in the agile framework in terms of agile software development and as a portfolio and organization management where we are connecting developers, operational staff, security and business staff so the lifecycle of how applications are deployed, managed and supported is more aligned,” he said. “We saw more respondents diverting some of that budget to developing better dev/ops. That will significantly help them.”
The survey also found advancements in machine learning are bringing more hope to digital transformation efforts.
Jardim said most respondents are starting to evaluate machine learning to solve specific problems, including to reduce the need for event monitoring challenges where there are several tools across multiple siloed networks.
“This is leading to alarm fatigue,” he said. “You have folks who aren’t really responding because it’s difficult to sift through all the alarms and events that pop up and make a determination of what to do with that and how to respond.”
He said machine learning can look for trends and use analytics to help organizations decide how to respond.
Without the advanced technology and dev/ops methodology, Splunk and Ponemon found organizations are spending an inordinate amount of time and money addressing incidents.
Jardim said on average it takes organizations 44 hours and 12.5 people responding to an outage and recovery effort.
“If I translate that to monetary terms and take $100 per hour, we are looking at about $55,000 per incident,” he said. “How do more advanced commercial or government entities do that? We see some being able to respond in 2-to-4 hours per outage and that’s a 10-20x improvement and savings.”
About Splunk Inc. – Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK) is the market leader in analyzing machine data to deliver Operational Intelligence for security, IT and the business. Splunk® software provides the enterprise machine data fabric that drives digital transformation. More than 13,000 customers in over 110 countries use Splunk solutions in the cloud and on-premises. Join millions of passionate users by trying Splunk software for free: http://www.splunk.com/free-trials.
Jason Miller is a reporter whose work focuses mainly on technology and procurement issues, including cybersecurity, e-government and acquisition policies and programs.
Adilson Jardim, Area Vice President, Public Sector Sales Engineering, Splunk
Adilson Jardim has over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology space. Starting his career as a software and applications developer, he developed satellite and telecommunications software, financial applications, fleet management applications and even a numismatic grading application that was leveraged to preserve and rate coins from the marine recovery of the SS Republic.
For more than a decade, Mr. Jardim has worked with US Government agencies to architect and provide technology solutions that serve to solve operational and mission related needs, combining his knowledge of Federal Enterprise Architecture requirements with mission requirements.
Adilson Jardim is currently the Area Vice President for Public Sector Sales Engineering at Splunk, Inc. There he leads a large team of systems engineers, experts in Splunk and other technologies, dedicated to providing our Public Sector customers solutions that transform big data challenges and provide solutions for Security, IT Operations, Analytics and the emerging Internet-of-Things.