3 Tips to Help Federal Agencies Get the Most Out of Digital Transformation

Heather Eakin

If you are like many of our customers, COVID-19 radically accelerated your digital transformation journey. You rapidly provided resources to your end user community in new and innovative ways in just a fraction of the time it would normally take—because you had to.

However, implementing solutions rapidly can leave you with a less than optimal IT environment, especially if those solutions were not well vetted or if you deployed them on legacy or siloed data center infrastructure. Essentially, you might not be getting the biggest bang for your IT bucks, and your organization might not be able to take advantage of those transformational capabilities in the most ideal fashion. Unfortunately, the digital transformation journey is not a discrete one-and-done type of project. It is an ongoing lifecycle of activities. The key to success is to continually optimize and improve upon your environment. To that end, we have three tips we recommend you begin to implement into your short- and long-term IT planning and development.

1. Understand your requirements—organization, mission, and technical

First, understanding the organization, mission, and technical requirements is critical in order to form a design or plan. We find that too often, IT and agency stakeholders do not work together closely enough to understand the mission and define the problem, which results in IT solutions that solve the wrong problem. 

To gain the edge that digital transformation offers and to ensure end-user adoption, IT and mission stakeholders must be in continual communication. Expect that requirements will change as the mission stakeholders begin to understand the technology and the new capabilities of the solutions you are evaluating. It also helps to view this continual change as a good thing since it means your stakeholders are maturing in their understanding of how IT can support their mission objectives. By working together closely, you will both find more opportunities to advance the digital transformation journey.

2. Know where your baseline is

Assessments are a good way to start that digital transformation journey. They help you understand where you are starting from and can help identify issues, constraints, or limitations that you will need to consider as you evaluate and ultimately implement new solutions. 

Expect to look at your environment from a variety of angles. You can collect data through third-party or vendor-based tools. Understand your result in terms of vendor best practices and your unique requirements, such as Fedramp. Validate what you find with your agency and mission stakeholders to keep them engaged in the transformation process.

Assess your environment along the way. Confirm the solutions you implemented are working correctly, optimally, and that those problems you originally identified have in fact been resolved. This gives you an opportunity to understand how you need to optimize as you move to your next stage of transformation.

3. Partner with an experienced guide

You don’t have to do it all alone. Develop a relationship with a trusted advisor who can help you discern your requirements and present options and design solutions that will meet your needs.

Technology has become readily affordable and available to solve most typical problems. In fact, there are so many options that one of your biggest challenges will be finding the solution that is best suited to your unique requirements. 

A partner like Connection can help guide you through the options and cut through the chaos. We have a dedicated technical team of Solution Architects who help customers navigate the sometimes murky waters of transformation every day. Our team provides guidance and works with our partners on your behalf to create comprehensive solutions that meet your defined needs.

Heather is Senior Manager of the Data Center Practice at Connection with more than 24 years of experience in data center, virtualization, and networking technologies. She holds a Master of Science in Information Technology Management, as well as certifications from the ITIL Foundation and Security+.