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How to Keep Control of the Expanding Government Network

Level 12

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.



Send this to your Representatives and members of Congress.

What a great way to improve efficiency while reducing government waste!

Frankly, if the government isn't using Solarwinds, they could be doing a LOT better . . .


At the very least have some consistency in tools from one end of Government to the other..

Level 20

Orion is used in all of the branches of the military in the US and most agencies somewhere.  Also many in the defense industrial base.  End user monitoring is a big part of RMF.  Especially users that attach things to their computer they shouldn't like usb sticks and hard disks.

If we go straight to the title, as if it were a question:  "How to Keep Control of the Expanding Government Network?"   The immediate "simple" answers are:

  1. Build standards and apply them universally, then review them for consistency, and apply enforcement to ensure they are consistent.
  2. Require budget to be reviewed, by people who understand I.T. and accounting games, and only allocate budget for the product that continues the standard and consistency in step 1.
  3. Review and repeat.

Here we sit, a bunch of mice in the wings, voting to bell the cat, without intent to follow through, without budget . . .

At least we think we know better, and at least it's fun.


Good article

Level 13

Waste Waste Waste.... Nice article.. 

Level 7

Good article, but also applicable everywhere, really, not just gov IT. I wonder if there really is much of a difference between the nature of gov IT vs private org IT in the way that they are run... at least on the larger ends of the scale.

Level 21

In my experience working with government in IT I have found them to have a lot if silos.  By breaking down the silos and unifying on a single cross-functional toolset they would gain better overall visibility and control.


This applies across the board with IT. Not to start a fight, but generally speaking privatization is what creates efficiency. Smaller government.

Took the words out of my mouth. Inventory! Inventory! Inventory! Know your stuff and organize...

So, one of government's functions is to prevent abuse.  Abuse of people, abuse of funds, abuse of the environment--things folks should know are wrong to do.  Protecting us and the world from greed / exploitation / slavery / etc.

If folks wouldn't get greedy, wouldn't abuse their power or their workers or the environment, we should be able to get by with a lot smaller government.

Which means less control is required, less funds spent on keeping others from hurting us or our world, smaller government, taxes spent on things making us happier.  I like it!

Sounds like we need a Solarwinds module that alerts and corrects / prevents abusive actions by people.  Well, that, or somehow ensure everyone has good jobs, good education, safe places to live & work & sleep, access to great health care, good nutrition, excellent education . . .

Maybe the SW module would be simpler than everyone doing the right thing, treating their neighbors as they'd like to be treated themselves. 

But that goes against the topic of this Blog--Keeping Control of the Expanding Government Network.  Maybe having everyone get along, play nicely, IS simpler.  Obviously it results in need for less taxes.  And don't we spend a lot of time thinking about that topic?

About the Author
Joseph is a software executive with a track record of successfully running strategic and execution-focused organizations with multi-million dollar budgets and globally distributed teams. He has demonstrated the ability to bring together disparate organizations through his leadership, vision and technical expertise to deliver on common business objectives. As an expert in process and technology standards and various industry verticals, Joseph brings a unique 360-degree perspective to help the business create successful strategies and connect the “Big Picture” to execution. Currently, Joseph services as the EVP, Engineering and Global CTO for SolarWinds and is responsible for the technology strategy, direction and execution for SolarWinds products and systems. Working directly for the CEO and partnering across the executive staff in product strategy, marketing and sales, he and his team is tasked to provide overall technology strategy, product architecture, platform advancement and engineering execution for Core IT, Cloud and MSP business units. Joseph is also responsible for leading the internal business application and information technology activities to ensure that all SolarWinds functions, such as HR, Marketing, Finance, Sales, Product, Support, Renewals, etc. are aligned from a systems perspective; and that we use the company's products to continuously improve their functionality and performance, which ensures success and expansion for both SolarWinds and customers.