As worldwide data use escalates, so does our reliance on data centers. But what would happen if we took the data and data centers away? How valuable is real-time data access to federal employees, and what are federal IT departments doing to ensure reliability and security?
To examine these issues, MeriTalk surveyed federal field workers* and data center leads. They asked field workers about their reliance on information access, the impact of downtime, and the importance of the data center. They then asked the data center leads how well they can effectively deliver the right information resources to the right users – even in a business continuity scenario – and meet their SLAs.
The resulting Drive to Thrive report compares the two perspectives and offers advice to federal agencies on designing and implementing a truly agile data center. This slideshow features highlights from the survey conducted by MeriTalk and sponsored by Symantec.
*Field workers are defined as those who perform duties that require their physical presence in the field or otherwise away from a federal office facility more than 50 percent of the hours they work. This could include teleworking, field service, traveling, etc.
Ensuring the Agile Data Center
Click through for results from a survey of federal workers and data center leads on the agility of federal data centers, conducted by MeriTalk and sponsored by Symantec.
Agile data centers can save billions
Today’s data centers save feds billions in productivity, efficiency:
- Real-time information access saves the average federal field worker more than 800 hours in productivity each year.
- Considering the number of field workers in the U.S. government, this equates to approximately $32.5 billion in annual federal savings.
Downtime is costly and risky
- When downtime occurs, 42 percent of field workers are temporarily unable to support their agency’s mission.
- Many also risk security for productivity – one in three admit using personal devices and approximately one in four say they turn to workarounds like Google Apps.
Recognizing the challenges
IT recognizes the issue, but is hampered by budgets and legacy tech:
- 80 percent of federal IT pros say ensuring data center reliability is a top priority for their agency, but just 19 percent are fully confident in their department’s ability to meet their most critical uptime and failover SLAs.
- The average agency has just half of the storage, power and personnel it needs to enable a reliable data center.
- Additionally, 31 percent say their agency either does not have a COOP plan or that their current plan is insufficient.
Nearly three quarters of IT pros have improved the reliability of their data center over the past two years. When asked what specific changes or investments their agency had made, the answers included:
- “Additional mirror drives.”
- “Changing from traditional hardware and systems to virtual systems.”
- “More security.”
- “Downsizing the number of data centers.”
- “Data backup and downtime prevention.”
- “Upgrading software, hardware, and trained personnel.”
- “Asset consolidation and visualization.”
The path forward
IT pros say greater bandwidth, security, and senior leadership support will improve data center agility.