2. Provide Flexibility to Agency IT Teams
The key to becoming more agile is allowing each agency to build, deploy and manage its own applications, independently adding capacity, deploying databases and middleware, and any number of other tasks involved in application lifecycle management. All of this should be done without relying on central IT or impacting other agencies.
A flexible and open platform with strong security capabilities, shared across central IT and state agencies, is ideal for this mission. Agency developers can safely build and deploy applications on different infrastructures without having to worry about what those underlying infrastructures are or how they work. They can do their jobs without having to provision what they need from central IT.
Conversely, central IT can rest assured that development is taking place on a sanctioned platform that meets its security requirements. No one at central IT needs to be concerned that those developers are going to go off on their own and provision their own cloud infrastructures. They’ve provided the agencies with the tools they need to develop what they need, when they need it, while still maintaining control, visibility and management.
3. Embrace Automation for Your IT Teams
Automation is the final key to helping both central IT and departmental IT teams accelerate their efforts and reach their goals. Automating important yet time-consuming processes — from maintenance operations to the small steps involved in building a piece of code — can prevent human error and significantly minimize the time it takes to create an application.
Studies show human error as the leading cause of downtime, while an IBM report found that it is the culprit behind one quarter of all data breaches. Automating development and management processes can relieve people from having to do much of the tedious work that leads to these issues, creating a more resilient and secure operation.
Removing this work from the equation can also accelerate the development process. A task that may have taken hours or even days can now be done in minutes. This empowers developers and IT managers to be more productive and reach that common goal of delivering better services, faster.
These changes will not necessarily be easy, especially for agencies that have not already committed to a DevSecOps culture or are using traditional waterfall development practices. The types of technologies mentioned above cannot be retrofitted and made to succeed in such environments.
Those organizations willing to adapt their processes to the technology — and not the other way around — and make the necessary cultural changes will have the most success. They will be able to bridge the gap that exists between central IT and state agencies and give everyone what they need to expedite the development and delivery of citizen services.