Renee ReinkeRenee Reinke (@Renee_Reinke) leads Ciena's vertical marketing for federal governments on a global basis, and has a background spanning engineering, product management and product marketing at several tier 1 U.S. service providers.

The latest figures from analyst Gartner forecast a decrease in worldwide IT spending across a host of verticals for 2015. A new survey of public sector professionals seems to support this, suggesting that while government agencies are well aware of the cybersecurity issues they face, static budgets and tightened resources make combating this growing threat extremely challenging.

These cyber threats, along with other macro trends in tech such as mobility and the advent of the cloud, have government IT departments re-evaluating their network infrastructure.

A recent GovLoop survey of 180 public sector professionals examined how organizations at all levels of government (local, state, and federal) identified top technology obstacles, trends, and network infrastructure challenges faced by this unique audience. Below are a few key takeaways:


Top 5 Technology Trends

The public sector audience has a core set of concerns focused on mobility, cloud computing, and virtualization, but there are other technology trends they are eager to embrace as well. These are the top five trends impacting the government space right now:

  1. Mobility
  2. Advanced analytics & big data
  3. Cloud computing
  4. Network function virtualization
  5. Internet of things


Top 5 Network Challenges

With the push towards cloud computing and network virtualization, the public sector audience faces a number of challenges in deploying effective network modernization efforts. These are the things that keep public sector network operators up at night:

  1. Cybersecurity
  2. Mobility
  3. Bandwidth
  4. Network consolidation
  5. Cloud application performances


Challenges to Network Modernization

When will you begin planning for a network upgrade? pie chartDriven by the above network trends and challenges, many of these government organizations are turning to network modernization to help meet their bandwidth and budget challenges head-on.

When asked what obstacles they face with implementing network modernization in their organizations, respondents cited budget and resources (70%), IT constraints (48%), and a lack of personnel and related skills (44%) as their major hurdles to embracing new technology.

Without a doubt, these are large challenges for those operating within the public sector; however, survey respondents appeared to be working past these hurdles in an effort to modernize their networks. Nearly 35% of those surveyed indicated they were currently working on a network upgrade, while 9% had an upgrade planned within the next six months. A slightly larger percentage of respondents (22%), however, had no plans to upgrade their networks.


Ensuring Mission Success with Ciena

To ensure mission success for network modernization, agencies must understand both the trends and challenges from the outset. With a portfolio full of network modernization services and the capability to support your agency through every step of the process, Ciena can help you make the move to network modernization. To learn more about modernizing your government network—and to better understand the landscape of implementation challenges in the local, state, and federal spaces—download the GovLoop research brief, Accelerating Government Transformation with Network Modernization, today.

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