Bryan Thomas, Senior Vice President of Public Sector for WWT, authored an article for Nextgov’s online publication discussing the future of IT as a service for military and civilian agencies.
Posted by NextGov on May 10, 2019:
Nearly anyone who has worked in government has felt the impact of disjointed information technology programs and the piecemeal approach by which agencies modernize, leading to stovepipes and little return on investment.
While making digital transformation a priority, the government’s access to the next big thing has been just a contract away. First, there was software as a service, and then cloud, followed by platform as a service and infrastructure as a service. Next came anything as a service, or XaaS, which allows agencies to buy IT services on demand, but doesn’t integrate the disparate services or equipment.
The result too often is a complicated mashup of multiple vendors and government staff trying to integrate modern systems and emerging technologies with legacy infrastructure. Federal leaders rightly complain that IT has become a costly and unwieldy management burden. The challenge is growing as agencies struggle to recruit in IT while facing the requirement to reduce budgets and staff.
In comes Enterprise IT as a Service
Defense Department acquisitions seemingly captured this frustration in their 2017 Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, cloud solicitation, which put the focus more on information—data—and less on technology. “The department’s lack of a coordinated enterprise-level approach to cloud infrastructure makes it virtually impossible for our warfighters and leaders to make critical data-driven decisions at mission speed,” it read.
The Air Force was the first to contract enterprise IT with its request for proposal last year for “Enterprise IT-as-a-Service (EITaaS).” Under EITaaS, the service would contract all of its commodity IT needs to free up time, money and talent for its more specialized, mission-critical needs. The Air Force double-downed on the service in February, awarding a contract to expand those pilots to up to 20 bases. The EITaaS covers IT service management, enterprise service desk, and end-user device management for up to three years. In announcing the award, Bill Marion, deputy Air Force CIO, said the contract frees government staff to work on core competencies and will improve IT services.