Money is the number one driver of questions from Federal agencies about technology, according to Brian Roach of Juniper Systems.
“I’m getting a tremendous amount of inquiry just around pure economics,” Brian told me today when I asked him what agencies are asking him as they strategize IT procurements. “Our customers really are being asked to do more with less. Look at the Defense Department now. Their budgets are going elsewhere,” he said, alluding to Secretary Robert Gates’s recent proclamation of priorities being rearranged at the Pentagon.
“You see acquisitions that are driven by cost savings,” Brian says. “I will tell you, the industry is driving toward architectural change. We’re at a point where we’re starting to see the investment in the infrastructure somewhat outstripping the ROI. Where we’re getting into conversations is about innovation. We’re approaching a flatting of the architecture – a flattening of the data center architecture – just greater efficiencies across the board.”
Brian and I discussed the technological innovations that are driving change in government IT: virtualization, cloud computing, cybersecurity, and others. We also talked about the differences in applying strategies between the military and civilian organizations of the government.