Government

Public Sector IT Leaders Agree: Finding Your Agency Path to Modernization Includes Zero Trust

Public sector has been adopting modern apps and cloud-based infrastructure to improve citizen engagement and mission outcomes. In 2020, the global pandemic accelerated the need to modernize. According to the VMware-commissioned MIT Technology Insights survey on COVID-19 and its impact on technology, 70% of government leaders are accelerating modernization and digital transformation because of the pandemic.

On June 22, thought leaders from VMware and other private sector companies gathered with public sector IT leaders from the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the states of Montana and Ohio. Read more to learn about lessons learned in their ongoing app and cloud modernization journeys at the 2021 Public Sector Innovation Summit, hosted by VMware and produced by FedScoop and StateScoop.

Lead Forward the Path to Modernization

In the opening keynote, Sumit Dhawan, President, VMware discussed Biden’s recent Executive Order, which mandates that every part of the value chain incorporates end-to-end zero-trust. But Dhawan also said we must combat needless complexity with with built-in zero-trust security rather than security measures bolted on after the fact. The public sector must also avoid vendor lock-in and deploy a multi-cloud environment. He discussed how VMware works with the Commonwealth of Connecticut Department of Family Services and the U.S. Space Force on their modernization journeys. The VMware vision ensures existing applications aren’t left out during the transformation journey,  and that there are solutions to ensure the investments made in legacy apps are maximized and working efficiently within the infrastructure. VMware is ready to meet the public sector where they are.

Four pillars of Department of the Air Force Digital Modernization strategy

Lauren Knausenberger, CIO, United States Air Force also conducted a keynote, where she spoke to her“four pillars” as USAF CIO: 1) a rock solid digital foundation for the USAF, 2) user experience for warfighter effect, 3) enabling digital talent, and 4) ruthlessly attacking manual processes, outdated policy, and redundant IT. She explained the benefits of going all-in on the cloud and why the USAF DevSecOps platform remains a focus, along with zero trust. Her call to action for the private industry was: “We need you to help us bring new capabilities. All of you have something to bring to the fight.”

Mobilizing an Anywhere Workforce

For the panel “Enabling an Anywhere Workforce,” Ervan Rodgers,Former CIO, State of OH, Dr. Gregg Bailey, Dep CIO, U.S. Census Bureau, and Cameron Chehreh,CTO & VP, Pre-Sales Engineering, Dell Technologies, Federal agreed the anywhere workforce model is here to stay. One salient benefit is that it improves access to talent. Panelists also agreed this model demands cybersecurity and the proper infrastructure be firmly in place.

See how government agencies are embracing digital transformation and what key challenges leaders anticipate to overcome in the coming year around application development, workforce and cybersecurity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kVWOu5pKXA

Deploy a multi-cloud environment

For the “The Multi-Cloud Mindset” panel, Christine Finnelle, CTO, U.S. Marshals Service, Gary Washington, CIO, USDA, and Matt Van Syckle, CTO, the State of Montana discussed how multi-cloud is the key to success. The panelists assessed their cloud journeys and agreed it’s vital to have a governance framework in place. According to Van Syckle, a multi-cloud mindset allows the State of Montana to collaborate with neighboring states on standards and pricing.

See how having a multi-cloud strategy gives agencies flexibility, choice, and freedom to fulfill complex needs and serve constituents at scale: https://onevmw-my.sharepoint.com/:v:/g/personal/jcorey_vmware_com/EXAOruZQyWhGlDvyAD8YAxgBUTxMne9eadwQ63e8T-eiOA?e=QMwx0t

Build a Zero Trust Model

In the closing keynote, author and former FBI agent Eric O’Neill gave an energetic talk on cybersecurity. The federal government is now investing in the cloud, but “not all clouds are equal.” He says security must extend across workloads, containers, and Kubernetes with zero trust. He ended with O’Neil’s law: “Hacking is the necessary evolution of espionage. There are no hackers. There are only spies. We must hunt the threat before the threat hunts us.”

In closing remarks, Lynn Martin, vice president of government, education and healthcare at VMware emphasized, “My team is ready to meet you wherever you are in the modernization path and build the future together. We look forward to our continued partnership with our public sector customers, and we look forward to seeing you soon online or in person.”

All the panels and keynotes are now available on-demand.

Check out the free resources to transform your agency to application modernization, move to multi-cloud and the need for unified security in this new environment to support a distributed workforce.


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