Government // Enterprise Architecture

Federal IT Networks: Simpler Is Better

A survey of government IT executives found that network complexity slows IT performance and hinders deployment of new technologies and services.

(Source: opte.org, from Wikipedia)
(Source: opte.org, from Wikipedia)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
7/23/2014 | 2:45:04 PM
walking the walk
>According to the report's findings, 74% of IT execs are currently concerned about the interoperability of their network vendors. 

I wonder what % of those execs describe their IT organization as a "Windows shop"? Interoperabiliy and openness are there for those who really pursue it.
MDMConsult14
50%
50%
MDMConsult14,
User Rank: Moderator
7/23/2014 | 6:43:01 PM
Simpler Is Better
Yes. Simpler is better. When you look at the interfaces of a lot of these sites, many are staff or member users. Catering to easier navigaction is an important element. Even with stakeholders, technical sites or networks should be non-complicated to explain or understand.
@mbushong
50%
50%
@mbushong,
User Rank: Strategist
7/24/2014 | 10:26:15 AM
Adding on doesn't always add up
The biggest reason that complexity grows unchecked is that people typically add to their IT infrastructure with a whole lot more frequency than they subtract from it. You end up constantly adding things. Something doesn't work quite right, you add a workaround. Need some new capability, add a new feature. This incremental nature of growth leads to IT sprawl. We need to be removing things as frequently as we add stuff (and arguably more frequently since we have accumulated architectural debt).

Interoperability, by the way, ends up suffering too. Because if you deploy 600 features, even if both solutions support 599 of them, that 600th can prevent the things from working together.

Part of the hope of SDN is that it levels the architectural playing field some. It removes the reliance on these features (when customers deliberately allow it). But this requires a rethinking of architecture and procurement practices. A good first step? That standard RFP that you have? Consider starting from scratch rather than just adding SDN as a new section to an already-overloaded document.

Mike Bushong (@mbushong)

Plexxi
batye
50%
50%
batye,
User Rank: Ninja
7/24/2014 | 9:07:15 PM
Re: Simpler Is Better
way of technology simple is always better... as no one wants complications...
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
7/28/2014 | 5:30:38 AM
Simplifying networks
There is a Chinese proverb that says: Simplicity is an advanced course. I tend to agree.

Whenever you want to improve management, make it more efficient, more agile, get better ROI, better use of time, you need to simplify existing patterns. This applies to networks and everything else. 

-Susan 
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014
Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 16, 2014.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.