By Joe Kim, SolarWinds EVP, Engineering and Global CTO


The technology that government end-users rely on is moving beyond the bounds of on-premises infrastructures, yet employees still hold IT departments accountable for performance.


According to a recent SolarWinds “IT is Everywhere” survey of government IT professionals, 84 percent say the expectation to support end-users’ personal devices connecting to agency networks is greater than it was 10 years ago. The survey also found that 70% of IT pros estimate that end-users use non-IT sanctioned, cloud-based applications at least occasionally.


Here are more insights from federal IT pros:


  • 63% claim end-users expect work-related applications used remotely to perform at the same level (or better) than they do in the office
  • 79% say they provide support to remote workers at least occasionally
  • 53% say end-users expect the same time-to-resolution for issues with both cloud-based applications and local applications managed directly by IT
  • 40% say end-users expect the same time-to-resolution for issues with both personal and company-owned devices and technology
  • 68% claim to provide at least occasional support for personal devices


All of this amounts to a tall order for government IT professionals. However, there are some strategies to help ensure that users are happy and productive while agency systems remain secure.


Closely monitor end-user devices


User device tracking can provide a good security blanket for those concerned about unsanctioned devices. IT professionals can create watch lists of acceptable devices and be alerted when rogue devices access their networks. They can then trace those devices back to their users. This tracking can significantly mitigate concerns surrounding bring-your-own-device security.


Gain a complete view of all applications


Having a holistic view of all applications results in a better understanding of how the performance of one application may impact the entire application stack. Administrators will also be able to quickly identify and rectify performance issues and bottlenecks.


Beyond that, administrators must also account for all of the applications that users may be accessing via their personal devices, such as social media apps, messaging tools, and others. Network performance monitoring and network traffic analysis can help IT managers detect the causes behind quality-of-service issues and trace them back to specific applications, devices, and users.


Look out for bandwidth hogs


IT managers should make sure their toolkits include network performance and bandwidth monitoring solutions that allow them to assess traffic patterns and usage. If a slowdown or abnormality occurs, administrators can take a look at the data and trace any potential issues back to individual users or applications. They can then take action to rectify the issue.


Fair or not, IT pros are officially the go-to people whenever a problem arises. While IT managers may not be able to do everything their end-users expect, they can certainly lay the groundwork for tackling most challenges and creating a secure, reliable, and productive environment.


Find the full article on Government Computer News.