Professional Services for the 21st Century
For government agencies, mission success often requires all hands on deck. That leaves little time or staff to dedicate to other tasks, such as managing and upgrading technologies.
That’s why government agencies have long depended on professional services. Unlike consultants, which typically provide advice, professional services not only develop a strategy, but do the work. The type of IT professional services agencies can receive can include everything from upgrading networks, migrating to new applications or data center maintenance, to preparing agencies for a digital future.
Agencies aren’t likely to have excess capacity to take on more of these tasks in the near future. With that in mind, GSA has expanded the scope of IT professional services available through IT Schedule 70. That’s why, in addition to labor-intensive services like conversion and implementation support, database planning and design, data/records management, programming, resources and facilities management and systems analysis and design, IT Professional Services SIN 132-51 includes newer technologies, such as cognitive computing and Internet of Things.
One of the most important segments of SIN 132-51 pertains to network services. Networks are the backbone of agencies, yet many still rely on legacy protocols and technologies. This prevents them from taking advantage of important resources such as internet-based sensors, big data analytics and high-definition content. Professional services for network readiness optimization can help agencies understand the additional traffic a network may have to accommodate in the coming years and recommend upgrades to prepare the network.
One of the newer areas for IT professional services is cognitive computing, which uses applications based on machine learning and artificial intelligence. These techniques can lead to greater efficiencies, optimization productivity and cost savings. According to a report from Deloitte Consulting, automating tasks via AI could save as many as 1.1 billion working hours and $37 billion for government over the next five to seven years.
Another up-and-coming area for IT professional services is IoT. With this technology, internet-enabled sensors can be embedded in everything from traffic lights to smoke detectors to drones to medical equipment. When collected, measured and analyzed properly, the output from these sensors can help agencies prevent failures, know when to replenish supplies, or call for repair. According to a survey from Extreme Networks, the top business uses for IoT today are smart buildings, video surveillance, data collection, and building security. In government, IoT is becoming a critical technology for everything from public safety and the military to transportation, building monitoring and healthcare.
The IT professional services available through SIN 132-51 are a way for agencies to start preparing for a future that will undoubtedly include new technologies and processes. By using GSA IT Schedule 70 and a pre-approved vendor such as CDW-G, agencies can combine the IT professional services on SIN 132-51 with other SINs to create more complex IT solutions. CDW-G, a longtime GSA partner, offers a full suite of IT professional services to optimize data centers, networking, digital workspaces, security, cloud services and IT consulting.