New acquisition, business models need to drive federal IT modernization strategies

Cameron Chehreh, the chief operating officer, chief technology officer and vice president at Dell EMC Federal, said hybrid cloud, micro-services and as-a-service buying models are key to enabling agencies to move off of legacy IT systems.

The momentum to help get agencies off of legacy IT systems is growing.

First Rep. Will Hurd’s (R-Texas) Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act passed the House in May.

Then President Donald Trump included in his fiscal 2018 budget proposal $228 million for a central IT modernization fund, and detailed how agencies would apply for the seed money.

There are several efforts coming together to create the perfect opportunity for agencies to finally and more permanently swing the spending pendulum away from operations and maintenance (O&M) and to development, modernization and enhancement (DME).

The most recent data from the Office of Management and Budget shows agencies spending more on O&M, about 70 percent, up from 68 percent about a year ago.

That is a bad sign and part of the reason why so many experts in and out of government believe the MGT Act is so necessary.

Cameron Chehreh, the chief Operating officer, chief technology officer and vice president at Dell EMC Federal said even a little bit of seed funding will help agencies jump start the modernization processes.

“Money is always one aspect when you look at government programs. The other aspect is risk,” said Chehreh on the Innovation in Government show. “Looking at modernized technology and how people can move to things like cloud or next generation applications, there is risk associated with that because there has to be continuity in all of these missions. So risk does play a factor and that has caused a lot of agencies to pause. If you look at agencies that are willing to take that risk and take more bolder actions like the Federal Communications Commission…they are really starting to accelerate what they are doing, and without funding they still did it.”

Chehreh said agencies need to keep a few important things in mind as they take bold steps.

First, many departments are moving toward a hybrid cloud approach, which means micro-services and engineering are driving their strategy.

“The definition of cloud has really, really changed, and it’s really about your engineering strategy, how you build applications, these fourth generation applications that are driving digital transformation into the next industrial revolution,” Chehreh said. “So really redefining that in a hybrid manner is the key to move forward for these agencies.”

Second, agencies should focus on rationalizing applications. Chehreh said some software programs just aren’t cloud ready and you can’t just “lift and shift” other apps to the cloud.

“The mission needs technology right at the application level,” he said. “Look at the portfolio and understand what applications are across the enterprise, their maturity, whether they are legacy or are they right to move to a new cloud format or do they need to be rewritten all together? Through that exercise, they can begin to cherry-pick very small targets of opportunities to get them quick wins.”

Chehreh said Dell EMC has worked with federal clients to modernize applications in 30-to-90 days with full authority to operate (ATO).

Finally, Chehreh said agencies need to think differently about acquisition of cloud services.

He said the integration between mission, technology, acquisition and finance is important to drive toward an “as-a-service” or consumption based model.

Chehreh warned against just jumping into any cloud.

“Not all clouds are the same so you don’t get the same access to your data. Some of them can be more expensive, not less expensive, so you don’t get the agility you need,” he said. “We are starting to see a shift where agencies are bringing things back in-house because of the troubles that have plagued them like data leaks or data spills because they didn’t change their governance or the way they managed their data infrastructure.”

 

About Dell EMC

Dell EMC Federal is part of a collective force of companies under the Dell Technologies umbrella — Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream, and VMware – trusted all over the world to provide technology solutions and services that accelerate digital transformation. We provide the foundation to help modernize, automate and transform your agency’s data center with industry-leading servers, storage, cloud computing solutions, and converged infrastructure technology.

 

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Host

Jason Miller, Federal News Radio

Jason Miller is an executive editor and reporter with Federal News Radio. As executive editor, Jason helps direct the news coverage of the station and works with reporters to ensure a broad range of coverage of federal technology, procurement, finance and human resource news.As a reporter, Jason focuses mainly on technology and procurement issues, including cybersecurity, e-government and acquisition policies and programs.

 

Guest

Cameron Chehreh, Chief Technology Officer, Dell EMC Federal

Cameron Chehreh currently serves as Chief Technology Officer for Dell Federal. In this role, Cameron is responsible for developing and executing strategy, corporate development, leadership, and driving innovation for Dell’s service delivery model for the U.S. Department of Defense and Intelligence Community markets, domestically and internationally.

Prior to joining Dell, Cameron was CTO of General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) Intelligence Solutions Division, providing strategy innovative solutions across the Intelligence Community. He served as Senior Vice President, General Manager and Chief Technology Officer at OAO Technology Solutions, Inc. (OAOT), where he was an integral member of the executive management team responsible for the successful and profitable sale of OAOT to Platinum Equity Partners. Cameron was previously involved in building the world’s first cloud computing company, USinternetworking in Annapolis Maryland. As an enterprise solutions architect for Northrop Grumman, he designed and implemented a Cloud-enabled, application-focused center of excellence using core technologies from Oracle, PeopleSoft, Siebel, SAP, VMware and Microsoft to provide rapid prototyping solutions to support business development efforts of the Federal Government.

Cameron is a published author and speaker on information technology topics, including cloud computing, cyber security, service-oriented architecture, data center consolidation and optimization, and business topics covering strategic outsourcing, IT to business alignment, government markets, business strategy and operations, and organizational change. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Audio Engineering and Mass Communications from Middle Tennessee State University.