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January 5, 2018

Fueled by technological, legislative and policy developments, 2017 marked an important transition year in the future of government IT that will shape decisions and directions into the next decade.

CSRA is on the front lines of helping agencies to confidently leverage next-generation technologies today to more effectively and efficiently fulfill their missions.  As 2017 came to a close, we asked our colleagues to share their insights on the past year and what we might expect in the year ahead. We are pleased to share their insight with you here.

What were the most significant developments you witnessed in 2017?

“One of the biggest developments was the convergence of policy, demand and acquisitions to support DoD migrating to various cloud infrastructures. From the security policy published in March, to the acquisition award of milCloud® 2.0​ in June, to the increasing demand and strategic push to move to the cloud from Gen. Mattis in October – these developments have marked an inflection point DoD migration to cloud infrastructures.”
         - Donald Robinson, Chief Technology Officer, Defense Group

“Big developments in 2017 included the rise of the Hybrid Enterprise from an application perspective. Our federal customers are experiencing an increasing shift to SaaS, the rise of true “low-code” platforms, the need to integrate with an evolving set of ecosystem partners, the challenge of back-office and front-office application integration, a mix of public cloud, private cloud and on-premise hosting models, and the need to rapidly respond to citizen and end-user “developers.” Organizations need to build and evolve a hybrid digital technology platform to address these trends.”
         - Jay Olsen, Digital Platforms Director

“Both AWS and Microsoft have successfully implemented and been accredited for FISMA High Cloud Infrastructure offerings. This creates a remarkable opportunity to move more workloads out of traditional data centers and reduce the amount of spend for government agencies. Historically, moves to the cloud, while mandated to a degree, were slow rolled due to security concerns and lack of controls—perceived or otherwise. These offerings will expand the migration path from heritage data center ownership and its inherent upfront cost to cover expected growth over a five-year depreciation time table.”
         - Doug Carlson, Director - Government Cloud Services

“2017 was the year of uncertainty. The federal government and its contractors have had to react to the new administration’s attempt to challenge the status quo. The uncertainty of agency appointments and their corresponding budgets impacted the ability to accurately forecast which technology initiatives to pursue.”
         - Gary Slebrch, Director Digital Platform Services

“Government procurement movement to address “as a service” or “pay as you go” models was a significant step forward.”
         - Neil Kronimus, Digital Adoption Director 

“2017 was the year of connected devices. The explosion of IoT devices and the interconnection of the world around us continued at an ever-increasing rate throughout the year.”
 – Scott Andersen, Sr. Principal Solution Architect Digital Platforms

“The update to the Section 508 Standards was a very significant development. Taking effect in January 2018, they will impact the majority of products and services across the federal landscape.” 
         - Brian Cramer, Experience Design Manager

What technology do you think will have the most impact on your business in 2018?

“Cloud Computing, data analytics and machine learning.” 
         - Neil Kronimus, Digital Adoption Director

“Agencies continue to prioritize improved employee and citizen experience. To help achieve this vision, industry is evolving experience analytics technologies and their complement to enable coordinated discovery, analysis, and action on experience improvement opportunities—connecting the dots to drive improved delivery of quality experiences and inform strategic planning.” 
         - Brian Cramer, Experience Design Manager

“Cognitive assistance and natural language processing as it is applied to first tier customer service desk capability has the potential for high impact by automating and improving IT service and decreasing cost.”
         - Ben Gianni, Chief Technology Officer, Intelligence Group

“The continued advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and self-healing technologies will begin to surface in a more meaningful manner in 2018. Creating offerings and deploying those technologies in meaningful ways will separate the competition. CSRA will lead with our ATLAS-managed service offering. This expansive toolset will enable us to provide a secure, multi-tenant, cross-platform monitoring capability that intercepts systems and network health while pre-diagnosing possible events and resolving issues in a fraction of the time required by legacy tools. This technology is a game changer, and CSRA owns it!”
         - Doug Carlson, Director - Government Cloud Services

Where will you be focusing your priorities in 2018?

“For Enterprise Business Services in 2018, we will continue to help drive down TCO and optimize current ERP/COTS investments while preparing for the broader IT Cloud/SaaS market trend and its impacts to an agency’s enterprise business application portfolio.”
         - Jun Choi, Enterprise Business Solutions Director

“In 2018, I expect to see a focus on incorporating DevSecOps and cybersecurity into existing DevOps practices. I am excited that the first DevSecOps Days DC, put together by the same organizers as DevOps Days, will be kicking off this March.”
         - Paula Thrasher, Chief Intel Innovation Center

What major developments do you think may be ahead for 2018?

“Capable of quick-change functionality, including metal detectors, sonar, Infrared camera and other payloads, the modular drone is the future of drone capabilities.” 
         - Scott Andersen, Sr. Principal Solution Architect Digital Platforms

“Migration will accelerate. Government agencies are moving to the cloud and our ability to facilitate that transition will be our key differentiator. By leveraging CSRA’s cloud ecosystem, agencies will have full transparency during this transformation from a traditional on-premise model to the new multi-cloud environments.”
         - Gary Slebrch, Director Digital Platform Services

“It's not so much about which cloud services provider is better than the other; it’s about your enterprise having a liquid infrastructure to utilize the best cloud services across multiple clouds that meet your agency's mission.” 
         - Neil Kronimus, Digital Adoption Director


From the start, 2018 looks to be an exciting and pivotal year in the journey toward government IT transformation. We, at CSRA, are looking forward to working with our partners and clients to optimize the use of next-generation technology to achieve the universal goal of more effective and efficient government services and operations.