As Legacy IT is Sunset, Simplicity is Essential

In 2018 IT departments across the federal government will find themselves in an unusual position. Courtesy of the Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGT Act) agency CIOs will finally have budget to drive a large-scale overhaul of their IT infrastructure and finally divest themselves of legacy IT. While each agency will all have their own particular IT wish lists at the ready, there will likely be a common theme in what investments they make.

As well as bringing their agencies out of the era of COBOL and the mainframe what will replace the legacy IT will be driven by a focus on simplicity. As federal agencies are asked to deliver on more complex missions, in more places, and to more people than ever before, it’s paramount that the IT infrastructure just work.

Gone are the days of proprietary code and purpose-built systems.  As ServiceNow’s Derek Neal illustrated in a recent article on LinkedIn, simple tools that facilitate integrated, seamless processes, will create the foundation for a more efficient and effective federal government. To cite just one example from his article, Neal shares that:

For instance, a new employee coming into an agency – the main department of interaction for him/her is with (1) HR. HR’s purpose is to properly onboard this individual, including setting up their benefits and other associated tasks. HR then needs to interact with (2) IT to obtain the necessary IT assets for that individual (computer, etc.). HR must also communicate with (3) Finance to assign and ensure their appropriate pay structure. And then lastly, HR needs to integrate with (4) Facilities to assign the employee’s designated place/location of work. All the while, their employment status, location and associated IT assets needs to be stored, tracked and monitored (for changes) within a single system of record.  Without a single platform…these agencies are forced to provide these services through disparate systems and inefficient processes, with no communication of data between the two…

The key to these efficiencies and the best ROI will come from investing in platforms that connect people, process, and infrastructure, across departments, and potentially, across agencies.

This type of platform-based system addresses not only backend processes, but can apply equally to citizen-facing activities such as benefits on-boarding in the Department of Veterans Affairs, or Social Security Administration. Perhaps it could even extend to providing timely and effective resolution to service outages on the medicare.gov web site, or any number of other possibilities including, the essential task of protecting government and citizen data.

Consolidating complex legacy infrastructure into a single platform makes it easy to prioritize IT support and deliver on the mission. Moreover, in not needing to build a complex infrastructure to deliver these services, agencies are not only building an agile and responsive public sector but also avoiding creating the next generation of legacy IT problems. And that sounds like a winner!

Interested in learning more? ServiceNow is hosting their Federal Forum on Tuesday, February 7th where Tony Cossa, Acting CTO, Department of Agriculture, Scott Blackburn, CIO Office of Information and Technology at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other federal IT leaders will be sharing their success stories.

Register Now

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