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Out With Systems Integration, In With Managed Services: Simplifying Complexity For Government IT

Jim Smid, CTO, Iron Bow Technologies

June 21, 2016  |  IT Modernization  •  Managed Services


Simplifying IT complexity is the challenge that most government IT contractors are facing today. With new technologies emerging in the market every day, the old way of consuming IT isn’t in line with most federal agencies’ missions to be innovative and agile. Making sense of the customer’s mission and the IT requirements needed to align the organization with innovative technology solutions, is what the team from Iron Bow does best. Our TechSource team recently had a chance to sit down with Jim Smid, Iron Bow’s CTO, to find out how agencies, with the right partner, can simplify IT complexities to ensure the right balance of technology know-how and mission focus.

Here is what Jim had to say:

TechSource: What does “simplify complexity” mean at Iron Bow?

Jim Smid: Complexity drives opportunity. An opportunity to take advantage of technologies, take advantage of data analytics and leverage multiple sources and data sets. If we can help a customer homogenize data sets and be able to cross reference it to focus on business and mission requirements, we open up a whole set of possibilities.

It takes an effective engineering effort to make it look simple.

TechSource: What does complexity look like in the government IT market?

Jim Smid: In our industry, we see things are shifting across the board from hardware to software defined infrastructure to data analytics components. We are embedding lightweight operating systems in wearable devices which was unheard of ten years ago.

From our customers’ perspective, as the network proliferates, and all of these different IP addresses are out there in the marketplace, each of them generating data, the question becomes: How to make sense of all of it?

That’s what Iron Bow steps in to do. We simplify that for our customers. It all boils down to: What’s the mission? What’s the business return I can get on this data? And then we examine how to marry the two in a very simple way.

TechSource: How is simplifying complexity any different from the traditional role of the systems integrator?

Jim Smid: A real world example is the best way to illustrate the difference. In our healthcare work with the VA, we stepped out of a traditional systems integrator role where you’re talking about technology and instead focus on the clinician.

Putting ourselves in the shoes of a doctor or a nurse, trying to focus on their mission and understand what they’re trying to do. That’s very different from the integrator approach, which is very focused on how all of the technology pieces fit together, with little attention paid to the people who do the work.

As a managed services provider, we understand the technology. In our role, we position ourselves to understand the gap between the mission an agency needs to achieve and finding a way to make that mission simple and accessible from a technology perspective.

Interested in learning more about our Service Select Approach? Click here for a short video.


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