IT Spending: Third-Party Management and Partnerships Cut Costs for US Government

By: James O'Brien| - Leave a comment


Just over five years into the U.S. government’s efforts to consolidate data centers and cut IT spending, Computerworld reported the Government Accountability Office (GAO) highlighted savings of some $3.6 billion, according to its recent study.

That amount, however, is still billions away from goals set by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. With room for next steps and additional cuts, the time is right for the U.S. government to look further into strategies and approaches.

In the following examples of how third-party partnerships and outsourced management can help, opportunities for efficient, less expensive approaches represent real advantages for officials seeking IT spending savings without sacrificing progress and responsive IT results.

Managed Services as a Conduit to Efficiency and Innovation

One of the key challenges that the government faces is that of the traditional, step-by-step approach to changing infrastructure. A key way out of that time- and resource-consuming process is to partially or wholly eliminate the need for mainframe or server infrastructure as an in-house effort.

Cost savings and ongoing upgrades can happen in more agile and dynamic ways when IT leadership looks to third-party and managed services. There are precedents for success: La Caixa, one of Spain’s leading banking institutions, reported saving €400 million in IT spending over 10 years thanks to outsourcing its IT management.

Leveraging Consolidated Multivendor Environments With Third-Party Support

As organizations — including government agencies — add hardware and software from multiple vendors and manufacturers over years of operation, IT ecosystems become increasingly difficult to manage. Respondents in an IBM report allocated one to two days per month to managing these complex multivendor IT environments. Their time was spent:

  • Adding capacity (43 percent on hardware, 29 percent on software);
  • Tuning (43 percent on both hardware and software);
  • Installing patches (47 percent patching hardware, 44 percent patching software); and
  • Retesting (45 percent testing hardware, 45 percent testing software).

As government agencies look to consolidate and streamline IT spending, untangling IT from the multivendor ecosystem via third-party partnerships simplifies the landscape and makes it more cost effective.

Achieving Cutbacks in IT Spending

When approaches such as consolidation and cloud migration are paired with the kind of resource-adding partnerships that outsourced IT management strategies bring to bear, the results are not only the desired cutbacks in IT spending but also increased confidence. With third-party support, the government’s crucial infrastructure can remain progressive, secure and responsive while ridding itself of in-house redundancies and bloat.

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About The Author

James O'Brien

Freelance Writer

As a journalist and writer in the branded content space, James O'Brien covers business, technology, social media, marketing, film, food, wine, writing and news. The Nieman Journalism Lab has called his work in the custom content space "sponsored content done right." He has written for major regional newspapers, and he has managed and edited established, startup and turnaround newsrooms in varied markets, from community papers to major-city dailies. He consults for firms and businesses — startups to seasoned — on the creation of effective content strategies and the establishment of practical editorial calendars for enacting them. O'Brien holds a Ph.D. in Editorial Studies from the Editorial Institute at Boston University, where he researched and edited Bob Dylan's other-than-song writings. He is engaged in a bibliography for Oxford University Press, covering writings about filmmaker John Cassavetes. He is the author of "The Indie Writer's Survival Guide." His short stories and poetry are published in numerous journals and magazines.

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