May 01 2012

Taking Technology One Step Further

Agencies are improving the way they carry out their missions by building on smart technological implementations.

Good ideas can be hard to come by. It’s rare that an agency’s IT shop comes up with a revolutionary concept or technology. But many agencies are improving the way they carry out their missions with evolutionary ideas — building on the smart technological implementations they and others have made.

Taking a good idea one step further can help agencies become more productive and improve the services they offer.

The National Nuclear Security Administration offers a vivid example. In the article “Defending the Cloud” on Page 16, Wylie Wong reports on how NNSA used a hybrid-cloud architecture established by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, its sister agency within the Energy Department, for its own hybrid community cloud. The NNSA scaled up the Los Alamos architecture to provide secure, flexible services to users throughout the agency.

 “By leveraging a public-cloud solution, we can lower the total cost of ownership,” says NNSA’s Anil Karmel. “Instead of building it ourselves, we take a hybrid approach. We obtain the best of both worlds and select the environment that best suits our needs.”

The results speak for themselves: Where it used to take NNSA 30 days to provision a new server, it now takes 30 minutes.

 Technology improvements similarly helped the Department of Homeland Security boost its efforts for disaster training, which are detailed in “New School” on Page 30. Users were so impressed by how Apple iPads improved the training exercises that other first responders immediately began asking to use them as well.

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A Common Target

Improving performance and productivity is a goal of every agency. This issue contains a variety of examples and advice for how to achieve this goal:

On Page 20, the article “Ready for Enterprise” offers a look at how agencies are moving to centralized IT operations. Careful planning and use of cutting-edge technologies are helping agencies get the most out of their consolidated systems.

In the FedTech Interview on Page 37, Tony Trenkle, CIO of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, explains how his agency is implementing technology to meet the requirements of the healthcare reform law that was enacted in 2010.

On Page 10, a review of Symantec Endpoint Protection 12 reports that the product takes antivirus software in a new direction, with striking results.

Ryan Petersen

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