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Managed Services Are Changing the Way Government Does Business

Jim Smid and Josh Finke, Iron Bow Technologies

February 21, 2018  |  Cyber Security

The rapid evolution of technology combined with shrinking budgets and overworked IT staff makes managed services an ideal solution for government agencies experiences these challenges.

Through a managed services model, agencies can use a experienced service provider like Iron Bow to customize and manage a highly agile IT plan. This means agencies don’t have to buy their own hardware or host their own operations. The managed services provider (MSP) instead manages and supports all the back-end infrastructure.

A managed services solution not only drives down IT costs and frees up agency IT teams to focus more on mission-specific work, but it also allows agencies the flexibility to deploy leading-edge technology without the expense of buying new products every time technology advances.

To delve deeper into how managed services can help the federal government monitor its IT infrastructure here are three benefits to why you let an MSP handle your system needs:

1. Controlling IT Costs

 It’s no secret that federal budgets are tightening and there is little bandwidth for agency IT managers to do more than system upkeep. Doing more with less is now a reality across the whole federal government, with managers being asked to show quantified savings, tangible bottom-line impact and a significant return on investment.

Managed services help agencies utilize modern technologies while drastically reducing operating costs. With these solutions, agencies only pay for what they use, which makes it easier to separate costs and figure out what is  really required for mission success.

At Iron Bow, we provide technology choices ranging from on premise solutions to cloud or a hybrid model of both. Our managed services allow for several flexible funding options as operational expenses fluctuate, reducing the need for capital investment to keep IT running.

2. Deploying the Latest and the Best Technology

It takes deep expertise to determine what services need to be tied together for any given agency’s IT model. But one thing to know about managed services, especially here at Iron Bow, is that the model can provide agencies with experts in everything from cyber security to network architecture. Imagine having someone at your beck-and-call who has deeply studied not only current technology, but also what’s coming and how it can make your agency more efficient. These specialists are constantly exploring the newest and most efficient ways to run IT systems – something that federal IT managers just don’t have the time or budget to do.

Our specialists are ready to help at the drop of hat and go well beyond just delivering the freshest technology. Going back to the first point, knowing the product market—including what’s on the horizon—can drastically drive down agency costs. Not unlike DevOps, managed services means being able to instantly respond to an organization’s needs with the most efficient solutions.

3. Helping Small Agencies Keep Up

 Kirit Amin, who spent the last decade in the federal government and for the last three years served as the chief information officer of the International Trade Commission before retiring, said in a recent Federal News Radio article that smaller agencies often fall behind in IT modernization and need more help than the bigger agencies.

“Going to as-a-service provides an operational expenditure (opex) model versus capital expenditure (capex) model,” Amin said.

To put it more simply, as-a-service and managed services models are based on ongoing, operational costs rather than capital costs, which are often used to buy hardware and equipment. Relying on money to buy new equipment every few years as legacy systems reach the end of their lifecycle is an untenable model. While funding yearly operational costs through managed services is cheaper and easier.

“We are not going to have capital investments available every three or four years to refresh this unless we go to the cloud and as-a-service and it becomes an opex model,” Amin said in the article.

It’s clear that the way forward for agencies is through a managed services model. Cost savings and best-in-class technology will help the federal government modernize even with major budget constraints. With managed services, it’s no longer impossible for the government to be as forward thinking as the private sector.

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