Technology has clearly changed and evolved the way we work and how productive we each are in our jobs. But that’s not the end of its impact on the workplace. Technology is actually changing where we work and when we work, as well.
Today’s average employee—including those in the federal government workforce—views work as something they do – not someplace to go. They’re more mobile. They’re distributed. And they work when and from where they’re personally most productive.
If done correctly, this new, more mobile workforce can benefit federal agencies. It can cut costs by reducing the need for office space, supplies and utilities, while also improving employee satisfaction and retention—often without having an impact on collaboration or communication.
That being said, this more flexible, mobile and distributed workplace doesn’t come without its technological challenges. These mobile employees need access to information, applications, and other work systems that enable them to do their job from anywhere, and on any device. And that’s why we’ve invited Frame to the upcoming CSRA Emerging Tech Day.
Frame delivers cloud-based virtual workspaces, making it easy to run Windows applications from any device, at any time. Built from scratch for the cloud age, Frame's unlimited computing power ensures that even the most complex visual applications run as smoothly as on the desktop and much more securely. To learn more about Frame and how it can be of use across the federal government workforce, we sat down with their Head of Public Sector, Jason Holloway. Here’s what he had to say:
Thinking Next (TN): Can you tell our readers a little bit about Frame? How did the company get its start, and what does Frame’s solution do?
Jason Holloway (Holloway): Our founders wanted to make software available anywhere in the world, on any device. That’s what Frame does. We provide secure cloud workspaces that users can access on any device with a browser and a network connection.
There are no servers to maintain, no client software to update. You just sign in and start working.
Frame can run all the same applications you would on a high-powered PC, including hefty geographic information system (GIS) applications like ESRI ArcGIS, Harris Envi, and Textron RemoteView that require GPU acceleration and would normally be impossible to access remotely.
It feels just like you’re working with an application on your PC, but everything is kept in a secure space in the cloud.
TN: What trends and challenges are facing federal organizations that make Frame’s solution so important today?
Holloway: Security is a huge consideration for our federal customers. You just have to look at the news to understand why.
One of Frame’s most compelling benefits is how it “air-gaps” applications and data from the user’s device. Users interact with the video stream of an app, not the app itself. Sensitive data actually “lives” on the AWS or Azure government cloud, with nothing running or saved on the user’s device.
Once you log off, there’s nothing left to compromise or exploit.
On top of that—in the cloud—Frame sessions run on stateless machines, so changes from one user won’t impact others. Sessions themselves run on isolated virtual machines, so multiple users never contend for the same OS. And, since applications on Frame access the Internet through AWS or Azure, users are much harder to target via IP address.
Put it all together, and running apps on Frame is much more secure than a laptop or a PC.
TN: What benefits can federal users gain from utilizing Frame’s solutions? What can it enable within a federal agency or organization?
Holloway: It enables users to work from any device with complete peace of mind and without needing instruction books or software installations to get started.
From the administrator’s perspective, Frame takes advantage of cloud services like Azure and AWS to simplify software deployment and improve the manageability of desktops and applications. Maintenance is minimal. Hardware procurement is unnecessary. Each Frame subsystem—from connection broker to identity management gateway—uses modern, high performance, cloud-native tools.
On top of that, Frame is fully extensible, with well-documented interfaces that enable scalable self-service and low-friction integration. Frame’s APIs integrate with identity providers like Okta, Ping, Azure AD, cloud storage like Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive and networking solutions like Cisco, Palo Alto Networks and CheckPoint.
And importantly for federal users, Frame works with both the Azure and AWS government clouds, so compliance is ensured out of the box.
TN: Are any government organizations currently utilizing Frame’s solutions? Do you have metrics or anecdotes that illustrate the benefits that they're receiving?
Holloway: The IRS is a good example. Today, when the IRS starts a new case, it buys IT customized for the investigation: new servers, new laptops, new applications. When the case ends, it gets rid of the old IT and starts over.
Frame gave them a better option. Instead of throwing out that old kit, they can now instantly reconfigure for each new case.
With Frame, all the IT for a case—applications, data, permissions, security—exists in a cloud workspace, not on the user’s device. When the case ends, an IRS IT administrator can simply delete the old workspace and create a new one configured for the next case. There’s no need to buy new servers, since the IT runs in the cloud, on state-of-the-art hardware, automatically scaling as needed.
It’s faster, more cost-effective and much less vulnerable to cybercrime than the traditional method of delivering IT, and it’s an approach other agencies could adapt with minimal effort
TN: Frame is one of the IT solution providers participating in the next CSRA Emerging Tech Day. Why is Frame participating in this event, and what benefit is the company looking to receive from participating?
Holloway: As a leader in IT services for Public Sector markets, CSRA uniquely serves all levels of government. Frame is attending the emerging technology event to explore how Frame and CSRA can partner to bring fully-managed, cloud-native services to public sector customers.
Learn more about CSRA’s Emerging Technology Days and join us for our next event on October 25, 2017, to hear more from Frame.