In 2018, federal agencies experienced a push to become more agile and adept at meeting the increasing needs of network demands. That’s not going to change in the coming year, as agencies are continually being asked to do more with less and to set mission-focused priorities while minimizing the time and resources spent on extraneous activities.

So, what can we expect to see next? Here are my top three federal network predictions for 2019.
 

Increased consumption model adoption

More and more federal customers are looking to adopt a consumption model for their software and network purchases. This type of model helps agencies save money on services not heavily leveraged and moves the purchasing budget from a capital expenditure typically relied upon for infrastructure purchases into the operating expenses for service consumption.

Generally, when our clients enter into an enterprise agreement, they wrap a number of different software entities together and then obtain licenses for their entire environment. This is not only economical for them, it also allows us to provide greater depth of service. The cloud-based model takes that a step further to include ownership of all the widgets that provide the networking for the data center.

Let’s take a wide area network as an example. Here at Force 3, we can take the routers, circuits, and bandwidth, put them together, and simplify the overall process for our clients. This not only saves times for agencies by eliminating the day-to-day mundane tasks typically necessary to design and maintain a wide area network, it also allows their employees to dedicate their newly available time to advancing the mission.
 

Holistic approach to modernization purchases

The first thing that comes to mind regarding “modernization” is updating legacy technologies. For agencies that can invest in network infrastructure now, making this type of long-term investment is something that can have a far-reaching impact — as long as it aligns with the agency’s mission and modernization goals.

In 2019, agencies will make strategic, holistic modernization purchases that aren’t just to solve for a current pain point but are in place to help better achieve their overall mission, both now and in the future. Crucial to successfully making these purchases is a modernization roadmap to understand how each purchase affects future modernization endeavors down the line. While updating legacy infrastructure is a key component of modernization, there are other parts that need to be focused on as well, such as processes and adaptability.

Modernization will create different challenges for different agencies, but it is important for all to make sure they incorporate the concepts of a software-defined, policy-driven model into how they approach technology. A top priority for agencies should be making sure new investments in network technology are flexible, rather than a point-in-time solution, to ensure they maximize their capabilities in the future and continue to support their mission as a whole.
 

More network automation to bridge the skills gap

As agencies continue to rapidly adopt new technologies into their infrastructure and architectures, they face a challenge in the number of resources available who understand them. There are only so many people with the level of depth and experience necessary to handle new-edge technologies. Unfortunately, there is no sign of this skills gap closing anytime soon. Due to the pressures of modernization, agencies can’t stay in a holding pattern waiting to find the ideal employee. I predict the need for more highly skilled employees will lead to a widespread increase in the adoption of network automation solutions to handle these skills-based tasks.

In addition to the skills gap, people are being asked to do more with less on a day-to-day basis, and it’s increasingly important to make automated tasks consistent and reliable. The good news is that intelligent, next-generation tools provide the ability for someone with less technical knowledge to be able to implement automation tasks. For example, instead of knowing how to put a line-by-line configuration in place, we can put in some characteristics related to desired services, the address for the device, and then have the automation software take care of everything else.

Automated tools not only provide consistency across the board, eliminating the opportunity for human error, but they also enable a consistently secured experience for users as well as a consistent environment to grow in scale.

 


Interested in finding out how we can support your agency’s 2019 networking goals?
Email estuhl@force3.com to learn more.

Related Blog Posts

See All Blogs

TechTarget: Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Solutions Boost Channel

Enterprises are turning to hyper-converged infrastructure solutions because of their simple deployment model and high levels of automation. Some channel partners are cashing in on the technology shift, but traditional storage products still represent an enormous market. In this article…

Cisco Live 2018: Vendor Opens Management Console to Partners

In this article for TechTarget, Force 3's VP of Client Solutions Jason Parry weighs in on the new opportunities arising from Cisco DNA Center. In Cisco's latest nod to software, the company has opened its Cisco DNA Center to developers,…

GCN: Building a Better Agency Through Software Orchestration

In federal IT, there is sometimes fear that software orchestration will render the technology professional’s role obsolete. This mindset, however, is misguided. In reality, the exact opposite is true: Orchestration has the potential to not only make federal IT workers’…

3 Use Cases for Harnessing Next-Gen HCI

These days, between budgeting shortfalls and the unending data explosion, federal IT organizations face significant pressure to do more with less. This decline affected all areas of IT including software, hardware, networks and outsourced IT services. But even as funding…

NextGov: No Better Time for Software Orchestration

As agencies look to modernize, software orchestration offers an opportunity to make sure all their software is working together. It makes sense: All of your software should work together. And, once implemented, software automation and orchestration can help IT systems…

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI): Scalability and QoS

For federal agencies, hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) offers scalability, quality of service. Federal agencies today face extensive pressure to move faster. Nowhere is this truer than in the IT realm, where teams are expected not only drive operational efficiency and reduce…

IoT & The Intelligent Edge: Defending Outside The Firewall

The Internet of Things, though still evolving, has pushed its way into the workplace. The result? CSOs are working overtime to keep up. What’s the protocol for these connected devices, and how do they fit into the existing security infrastructure?…

GCN: The Hidden Challenges of Federal IT Modernization

In the next three years, an estimated $3 billion worth of federal IT equipment will reach end-of-life status, according to former U.S. Federal CIO Tony Scott. It’s an intimidating number, and one that indicates just how far-reaching the need is…

IoT in Federal: From Concept to Reality and Risk

The way we reconcile our security concerns with IoT’s inevitable integration will determine whether the revolution upgrades our lives or creates chaos.  Remember when the Internet of Things was more concept than reality? Those days are long gone. Demand for…

NextGov: How Can Agencies Prepare for a Software Future?

For federal agencies and their IT teams, change is inevitable. After all, it’s the nature of IT to change and grow alongside rapid innovation. Today, agencies must adapt as we shift from a hardware-centric model to an increasingly software-defined world.…

InformationWeek: Containerization Gains Traction & We’re Better for it

Cloud-based application development has taken big strides, and it's delivering benefits for enterprises such as federal agencies. Application development has forever been a thorn in the side of federal agencies. It’s tough, after all, to innovate when hampered by the…

TechTarget: Tech Launch Shakes Up Cisco Campus Network Design

Channel executives said Cisco's new campus networking approach offers software-defined networking, management and security capabilities, but will face a customer adoption test. Channel partners are absorbing a new take on Cisco campus network design in light of the vendor's revised…

GCN: Building a Better Backup

For public sector employees who work in national security, emergency response or disease control, data access can literally mean life or death. In the event of data loss, the consequences can be substantial, even when the immediate implications seem less…

GCN: Keeping Pace with SDN Means Embracing its Benefits

With the introduction of any new networking technology, two things are inevitable: First comes the hype, with organizations everywhere discussing whether to invest in it. Second is the panic -- particularly among the professionals tasked with implementing and adopting it.…

Channel: Cost, speed as hyper-converged infrastructure benefits

Channel partners active in hyper-converged infrastructure see an expanding set of use cases, although mission-critical applications may lag behind other HCI candidates. In this article from TechTarget, Force 3's next-generation networking director Jon Kim discusses recent developments in the hyper-converged infrastructure…

Cisco IoT Strategy Will Unleash Services Opportunities, Forge Ties With Technology Vendors

In this article from CRN, Force 3 CEO Mike Greaney joins other industry channel partners to weigh in on Cisco’s IoT Strategy featured at this year’s Cisco Global Partners SummitCisco Systems is putting its Internet of Things strategy into higher…

Programmability: How Federal Agencies Can Embrace Programmable Networks

In a professional climate that demands nonstop productivity, organizations everywhere depend on their technology to keep pace. More than ever, federal agencies want systems and processes that reduce complexity and waste. Even so, adopting and implementing new technology comes with…

SDX Central: Enhancing Network Security With SDN Automation

When it comes to software-defined networking (SDN) automation, certain benefits frequently get more attention than others. Take, for instance, the simultaneous provisioning of network functions and servers, which allows applications to become available in minutes instead of days or weeks.…

CRN: The benefits of pairing Cisco and VMware for software-defined networking

Until recently, many IT customers approached software-defined networking purchases as an either-or decision between Cisco and VMware. But, as software-defined networking grows in popularity, companies are increasingly deploying both Cisco and VMware solutions. Check out CRN’s article, “Partners: Enterprises are…

Force 3 Perspective: As software-defined networking gains traction, so do its visionaries

Jon Kim directs Force 3's Next Generation Networking division, which focuses in particular on software-defined networking (SDN) and other emerging technologies. Here, he weighs in on what the recent departures of SDN leaders for the venture capital world might mean…

For Customers, Software-Defined WAN Offers Automation, Savings, Efficiency

With benefits like automation, speed and increased efficiency, software-defined WAN promises to reduce the cost and complexity of wide area networks (WAN), while boosting real-time application performance. In TechTarget's feature SD-WAN technology offers channel partner opportunities, Force 3’s vice president…

Boosting Security in Software-Defined Networks

With the growing popularity of technologies such as software-defined networks (SDN), hyper-converged infrastructure and the Internet of Things, IT professionals must constantly prepare for new vulnerabilities in their efforts to bolster network security. In this recent guide from TechTarget, Software-defined…

How SDN builds next-gen security

As software-defined technology continues to gain traction in the federal space, agencies can expect to see a significant, positive impact on their own security posture. Those who embrace software-defined and other next-generation technologies will benefit from three key improvements that…

Force 3 at VMworld: What’s New and Next in Virtualized Computing

What was the overall atmosphere of VMworld? There was a lot of excitement around NSX, especially what the next big use case will be and what are further drivers of the technology. I think attendees were really looking for that…

‘No Respect’ for Critical Communication Infrastructures

"That’s the story of my life, no respect! I don't get no respect I tell ya!" - Rodney Dangerfield Much like the late Rodney Dangerfield, business phones tend to not get much respect. Considering the mission critical role that communications…

Webcast Recap: Next-Generation Data Center Security Webcast hosted by FCW.com

On May 28th Force 3, Palo Alto and VMware sponsored a webcast hosted by FCW.com. The webcast focused on Next-Generation Data Center Security and featured a presentation by Air Force CTO, Frank Konieczny, with a roundtable discussion featuring Jason Parry,…

Wireless Deployments: The Cost Question?

Wireless Deployments: The Cost Question? Radio Frequency engineers have a peculiar dilemma when it comes to standing up new deployments at facilities that are looking to implement Wi-Fi services. A frequent dilemma centers on the customer’s request for a pricing…

Agencies set building blocks of the software-defined enterprise

http://gcn.com/Articles/2014/07/22/Software-defined-data-center.aspx?Page=1

Catch up to your employee’s demands: Go beyond the desktop!

Take note, workforce. We have entered a new era: The Post-PC Era. No longer does the PC tie employees down with its chains. Studies show that sales of PCs are down 30% and it's not because we're in a bad…

VDI at Home: Building a 10-user Environment for $500 (Part 1)

Setting up VMware View Security Server Now that I have the base VMware View setup, I really wanted to watch videos on my iPad from Starbucks. To access the VMware View environment from outside, the VMware View security server must…

How can we help your agency achieve its mission?

Maximize your IT investments. Learn more about solutions and services from Force 3.