The Necessity for DevOps Improvement in Government by@devinpartida

The Necessity for DevOps Improvement in Government

Government Accountability Office reports most of the federal government’s $100 billion IT budget is used to maintain legacy systems. Older technology and applications hold back effective government IT, authors say. Government organizations need the collaboration and resilience of a DevOps approach today more than ever, they say. DevOps can result in increased productivity, faster turnaround times, fewer errors and defects, lower costs, improved application performance, and a greater focus on end-users. The right cloud infrastructure can also improve data security and reduce the risk of loss due to hacking or natural disasters.
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Devin Partida

Devin is the Editor-in-Chief of ReHack. She covers cybersecurity, business technology and more.

Government organizations need the collaboration and resilience of a DevOps approach today more than ever. Surges in cybercrime coupled with a rising need for agility in responding to the public’s needs have increased the importance of government IT operations. Only through a collaborative approach to development and operations can government IT adapt to today’s challenges and prepare for new digital threats. 

The Need for Digital Transformation

An urgent need for digital transformation has arisen in virtually every industry over the past few years. Governments are no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic sped up an inevitable shift to primarily digital operations, including remote work. It also increased the importance of timely and accurate information and effective virtual applications for government organizations. 

The pandemic also sparked a surge in cybercrime worldwide that has yet to subside. About 68% of government organizations worldwide reported suffering at least one successful cyberattack in 2021. It is easier than ever for hackers of any skill level to attack governmental sites, which are prime targets because they have more at risk than commercial operations.

All these factors mean there is a critical need for swift, responsive IT teams in government organizations. However, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reports that most of the federal government’s $100 billion IT budget is used to maintain legacy systems. Older technology and applications hold back effective government IT. Shifting to DevOps could help mitigate the impact of outdated tech and upgrade operations. 

The Power of Collaboration

DevOps is much more than an agreement of collaboration between development and operations teams. It can result in increased productivity, faster turnaround times, fewer errors and defects, lower costs, improved application performance, and a greater focus on end-users. A DevOps IT approach can help government organizations better serve their constituents. The range of benefits can be particularly pronounced for places struggling to keep up or are particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks. 

Prioritizing collaboration between the development and operations teams allows them to work more effectively. Communication is much less effective when working in isolation, leading to slower project timelines and more time spent correcting issues or road bumps. DevOps lets all personnel be involved in the planning process. New applications can be designed from the start to meet everyone’s basic requirements. 

Close communication and collaboration keep the development process focused. This allows government DevOps employees to put end-users first — in this case, everyday citizens who rely on effective government software and applications. 

This is even more relevant given the continuing popularity of remote work. Everyone is doing things primarily online today, including government employees. A DevOps approach ensures everyone maintains strong and effective communication even when geographically spread apart. 

DevOps is also crucial to evolving government IT infrastructure. For example, more government organizations are implementing cloud migration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Migrating to the cloud instantly strengthens IT agility, allowing governmental bodies to scale and roll out new IT tools swiftly. 

The right cloud infrastructure can also improve data security and reduce the risk of loss due to hacking or natural disasters. The cloud can facilitate the seamless collaboration of DevOps while maximizing the potential for deploying new applications quickly, such as critical cybersecurity updates. 

Shifting to a DevOps Approach

Government organizations have a lot to gain from implementing DevOps methods. Experts stress the importance of embracing continuous integration and collaboration when implementing DevOps. This will facilitate simplicity and easy management and maintenance for IT teams. Dedication to integration and cooperation should also be reflected in workplace culture. DevOps only truly works when team members are committed to working together in the real world, not just on paper. 

Smaller state and local government organizations can also take advantage of DevOps. Starting small and leading by example from upper management are important keys to success in these organizations. Continuous testing of new programs is crucial for measuring effectiveness — this is at the heart of DevOps. The continuous integration and collaboration cycle should be used to plan, design, build, and test until everything clicks. 

Building Resilience With DevOps

Government organizations have significant IT challenges to overcome today, including widespread remote work and mounting cybersecurity threats. Legacy systems can no longer meet all the needs. Governments can implement DevOps to work more effectively and efficiently and build applications designed for agility and resilience. Ultimately, this approach is key to creating IT teams equipped to serve the needs of the public as effectively as possible.

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Devin Partida HackerNoon profile picture
by Devin Partida @devinpartida.Devin is the Editor-in-Chief of ReHack. She covers cybersecurity, business technology and more.
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