Agencies could save more than $14 billion governmentwide by simplifying their computer networks and adopting open, non-proprietary network standards, according to a new survey of 200 federal IT managers.
About 94 percent of federal IT managers surveyed said they experienced network downtime that affected their agency’s mission within the last year, and that reducing network complexity could help reduce that downtime.
“Reducing network complexity is a significant opportunity in federal government data center transformation,” said Anthony Robbins, vice president of federal at IT network company Brocade, which sponsored the survey. The resulting networks should be designed for, and use, products from multiple vendors. This will create a more reliable, lower cost network which is set up to move in the direction of software-defined networking.
About 68 percent of those surveyed believe their complexity hampers their ability to implement new technologies or services while most agree that their networks will only grow more complex over time.
More than half also believe that reducing network complexity will help increase security while many believe it will streamline network maintenance and improve speed, according to the survey.
“The network is the road on which all government information travels,” said Stephen O’Keeffe, the founder of public-private IT partnership MeriTalk. “Taking the road less traveled by – one with reduced complexity, interoperability, and diversification – will make all the difference, and is critical to agency performance and efficiency.”