Government technology relies on networks to function. That’s a given. The networks, however, come in many forms.
There’s the electronic network that keeps the mission running, provides extra storage and allows people to communicate. There’s a human network as well: scientists sharing data, airmen sharing equipment, meteorologists sharing desk space.
Collaboration is a common word heard in the federal government, as agencies trade tips on modernization. But the sort of partnerships I see go further than that. It’s a time of evolution, and while talk is important and valuable, it’s action that truly bonds a workforce.
This issue of FedTech examines all the connections that hold the government together — the links that enable civil servants to work together across distances, during emergencies or from one cubicle to another.
Networks of Humans and Tech Helps Feds Achieve Their Missions
Storage area networks give agencies the ability to provide quick access to archived data. “Storage Area Networks Keep Information Close at Hand for VA, EPA” outlines the ways that agencies are using SANs to ensure that citizens can access personal information quickly and employees can use email and other cloud-based services seamlessly.
In the story “Agencies Turn to SD-WAN to Modernize Wide Area Networks,” agencies describe how software-defined networking helps them manage vast amounts of data while improving security on their networks.
Connections keep a mission on track, even in the most dire of emergencies. In “How Disaster Recovery Plans Keep Agencies Running,” we share the story of the men and women of Offutt Air Force Base who salvaged and rebuilt the base network after a major flood without disruption, and of the National Weather Service meteorologists who moved to offices 140 miles away while keeping the community informed of the danger from that flood.
At a time when the government is moving ahead in new and challenging ways, with the need to adapt to frequent changes one of the most important skills necessary, the connections keep government workers on the job — connections to citizens and to each other. IT capabilities have become more important than ever, as the technological network has become the glue that keeps the human network together.