The U.S. Department of Defense and the extensive ecosystems of defense contractors and federal system integrators are in the midst of sea change. In some instances, obsolete infrastructure and inefficient systems are diminishing their ability to respond to new challenges – ever-increasing data volumes, a distributed workforce, supply chain disruption and insufficient cloud access, for example.
The solution, digital transformation, is proving (not just promising) its value. In a recent report, Accenture observes: “Aerospace and defense companies that have embraced digital transformation are already pulling ahead, creating sustained businesses and new business models that are moving them decisively from today’s core operations to new approaches that drive growth.”¹
“Go digital” is the order of the day, compelling stakeholders throughout the industry to accelerate IT modernization. Rapid, strategic, holistic infrastructure change traditionally has been outside the comfort zone for government agencies. In 2020, for the DOD and many other agencies serving citizens, incremental change was cast aside and “new programs were rolled out seemingly overnight, and at a massive scale.”²
While it shows the degree of agility public sector entities are capable of achieving today, the sun is just beginning to rise on truly seamless service delivery for most of them. They are asking: How can we generate personalized, frictionless and anticipatory experiences that multiply the return on digital investment for the cyber government ecosystem and hit mission goals?
One aerospace and defense organization is answering that question by decommissioning their on-premises data center, migrating applications to our Northern Virginia data center campus and taking advantage of our private, secure, native public cloud onramps. Their go digital strategy empowers them to scale and gain system efficiencies in response to their rapidly changing data and IT requirements. It frees them to concentrate on innovation and streamline collaboration, in a NIST- and SOC-compliant environment that’s also less expensive to operate.
At the top of this post, I talked about agencies that have seen benefits from digital transformation and new programs being rolled out in short order. That doesn’t mean they are anywhere near the end of their digital transformation journey. Actually, what our customers in both public and private sectors are realizing is that digital transformation never ends.
A good simile is modern application development, where ongoing improvements are made based on data visibility and data analysis. Leveraging artificial intelligence and automation, incremental changes create a self-perpetuating, infinite loop of elevated customer satisfaction.
The Deloitte Center for Governmental Insights Government Trends 2021 report notes: “With 79% of government officials indicating that automation is making a significant positive impact on their business, adoption of automation is likely to continue.”² To ground that remark, Deloitte points to the Department of Labor using robotic process automation (RPA) to process 96% of the 285,000 claims made by self-employed workers impacted by COVID-19; it took 36 seconds for each claim instead of 20 minutes, when processed manually.
Each analyst source I’ve referenced includes guidance on digitization and modernizing IT in their reports. I’ll paraphrase advice common to both:
I’ll add my advice – partner with a hybrid IT provider that can ensure the data centers serving as the hub of your solution deliver the required security, compliance, uptime and cloud connectivity you require.
1. Destination Digital, How digital transformation can build resilience and unleash growth in aerospace and defense, Accenture, 2020 (source)
2. Deloitte Center for Government Insights Government Trends 2021 (source)
VP of Sales, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Regions
Matt is Vice President of Sales, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Regions, and has over 20 years of experience providing data center and network infrastructure solutions to enterprises and government entities.Read more from this author