2 Myths About Federal Data Center Optimization

By Jessica Parks, Market Intelligence Analyst

One major initiative driving IT modernization at federal civilian agencies continues to be the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI). This program impacts every civilian agency and continues to influence broader modernization efforts. Agencies are making progress, some (such as Department of Justice) more so than others, and they continue to incorporate their optimization goals into their budget and strategic planning.

Do you know where your target agencies are at in this process? If you are still formulating your strategy, here’s some high-level myth-busting to guide you.

Myth #1 – Data center optimization equals cloud migration.

While it is true that a major goal under the DCOI is closure of data centers, this does not necessarily correlate one-for-one with a move to cloud. While cloud migration plays a role in every agency’s strategy to modernize and optimize their data storage, some agencies are looking to keep at least one data center open, depending on their specific needs.

For example, now-retired Department of Justice CIO Joseph Klimavicz has acknowledged in the past that while the DOJ has made great strides in consolidating its data centers under the DCOI, there will be a few kept open and maintained as the department feels they are the most secure facilities in which to store sensitive information.

While cloud vendors will certainly keep finding opportunities as agencies continue to close data centers, you shouldn’t be afraid to look beyond the cloud and demonstrate your knowledge of your target agency’s infrastructure. What tools can you offer that will help them build and manage complex environments while still protecting their data? Think virtualization or disaster recovery for both on-prem and virtual systems, for example.

Myth #2 – Data center optimization ends when agencies hit their targets.

While the number of large migrations or other projects may significantly drop once agencies have met their DCOI goals, the work isn’t going to end there. For one thing, the few on-premise data centers that agencies have chosen to preserve will still need routine maintenance and management, as well as security updates.

For virtual environments, agencies are looking past simple“lift and shift” migrations to architecting hybrid or multi-cloud environments – and the needs of these systems are continuous. While the burden of maintenance may disappear when an agency moves to one or more cloud-based environments, they will still have needs for performance monitoring for the network or for their applications, identity-based access tools to help with data protection and containers or microservices to assist with moving applications around, just to name a few.

DCOI will continue to drive IT modernization. 

In short, agency needs around data center optimization are numerous and will exist for years to come. Technology vendors have a crucial role to play here to help agencies construct and manage increasingly complex environments that address their specific needs.


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Need to better understand where to target your sales efforts? Connect with immixGroup’s Market Intelligence team to learn more.

About Jessica Parks
Jessica Parks is an analyst with the Market Intelligence team at immixGroup, providing actionable analysis to help technology suppliers shorten their sales cycles. She holds a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. in political science from UNC Chapel Hill.

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