Federal IT is like running on a treadmill without an on/off switch. Stopping to get a drink will result in a wipe out. Or in this analogy, divert significant spending from operations and maintenance to IT modernization and programs and people are adversely impacted. The result is systems get older and more expensive to maintain and eat up more and more money that could go toward innovation.

An IDC Government Insights report found that, on average, more than three-quarters of agency IT budgets for fiscal 2017 are targeted for operations and maintenance, with the remaining bit dedicated to systems development and enhancement. That average figure hides some much higher percentages, like the Army Corps of Engineers with 96 percent of their $459 million IT budget dedicated to ops and maintenance or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 93 percent.

The IT modernization issues faced in federal IT do have some additional complications beyond the challenges faced by enterprise IT when it comes to allocation between operations and innovation. IT modernization programs with high initial costs and long-term pay offs can be a challenge to get through an appropriation committee or approval by an appointee administrator operating with shorter term, often election cycle-focused timelines. This is an environment that only compounds over time as these projects are pushed out again and again, driving maintenance costs up and increasing hurdles to moving to lower-cost modern systems.

Congress is looking to help make it easier for agencies to dedicate money to innovating and IT modernization. Legislation working its way through would create a working capital fund for each agency and a centralized modernization fund that agencies could pull from.

Uplogix as a driver of IT modernization

Uplogix offers some “baby steps” for organizations trying to shift from a focus on operations and maintenance to IT modernization and innovation. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Deploying Uplogix into the network is made easier by the fact that the console-level connections are device and brand agnostic. Uplogix decreases the administrative complexity created by heterogeneous network infrastructures by providing a single consistent management interface. Uplogix provides tailored drivers for most popular network devices that can perform an array of common monitoring and configuration tasks on demand, issuing commands and reading CLI prompts and responses in a syntax specific to a given device. In short, we can help simplify administration of network infrastructure by tying together disparate systems.
  • Uplogix plays well with others and makes existing solutions stronger. Uplogix is integrated with an array of centralized monitoring systems and consoles. Uplogix also allows for the full realization of the potential of your NCCM systems by providing local control and automation capabilities, regardless of network availability so that they can be used with confidence to execute changes. Keep using your old tools, but Uplogix helps make them stronger.

By shifting some of the burden of network management onto Uplogix, our customers save time and effort (translation: DOLLAR$) that can be applied to innovation and IT modernization. In the long-term game of federal IT, products and programs that can help agencies shed costs on the operations and maintenance side of the equation will have a direct impact on catching up to the future.