May 02 2013

Combining Technologies Can Deliver Unexpected Benefits

Are there gems buried in your IT strategy?

Combining distinct elements can yield surprising results. Agencies are finding that putting different technologies together can provide advantages that they couldn’t deliver alone.

Take cloud computing and unified communications, for example. The article Federal Agencies Move Toward Cloud Collaboration details how agencies are deploying UC capabilities through a cloud provider. The results offer workers a scalable and disaster-resistant suite of tools that improve employee productivity while reducing costs.

“It’s not just email, but the improved collaboration and coordination,” says Joseph Klimavicz, CIO of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Taxpayers save money with a highly reliable, scalable and secure commodity technology as opposed to having to do it ourselves.”

Mobile computing plays extremely well with other technologies too. As described in the article For Defense Department Agencies, Mobile Technology Can Save Lives, Property and Time, giving collaboration tools a mobile capability creates opportunities that can help federal workers everywhere — from warriors on a battlefield to Agriculture Department survey-takers in a cornfield. And that’s just the beginning.

“We’re taking an approach to access that assumes just about everything will end up being mobile in some way or another,” Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel says.

More Combinations

Efforts to combine technologies or other assets are on display throughout this issue. For example, the article How iPads Help American Troops Learn Foreign Languages, examines how the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center is using a variety of technologies, including tablet devices, to immerse students in their foreign language studies, speeding up the learning curve.

Another highlight of this issue is our exclusive interview with VanRoekel, in which he spells out his thoughts on a variety of critical federal IT topics, including the cloud, mobility and data center consolidation. VanRoekel explains how the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, which authorizes federal cloud vendors, can serve as a model for approving the use of mobile computing products.