New MeriTalk Report: Network Infrastructure Modernization Key to Cloud Adoption Success

A new report from MeriTalk finds that Federal legacy network infrastructure may be struggling to keep pace with the growing demands of agency cloud migrations, next-generation technology, and the continued push to modernize IT systems.

The MeriTalk survey of 150 Federal IT managers finds that 98 percent of respondents feel their agency has made strides in its cloud journey, but most are now encountering roadblocks on the path to continued progress. That’s because 67 percent say their agency’s legacy network infrastructure is struggling to keep pace with the changing demands of cloud and hybrid technologies.

What’s holding them back? Respondents expressed several needs, including increasing network capacity and speed, reducing complexity, and improving visibility as key steps to preparing their IT infrastructure for the next steps in modernization.

Thankfully, there’s also strong consensus around the need to make these changes.

Eighty-four percent of Federal IT managers say network modernization is foundational to managing and improving cloud application performance, but standing the way, a full 80 percent would currently describe their network as complex.

As agencies prep for the future, 83 percent say network modernization is indeed a part of their agency’s cloud migration strategy, and 79 percent say they already have a roadmap for modernizing and streamlining their legacy network infrastructure.

But in spite of those facts, 51 percent of Federal IT managers still say their agency is failing to prioritize the networking aspect of cloud adoption and overall IT modernization. Bringing this imperative to the top of the priority stack could be what’s necessary to follow through on network modernization plans, increase overall efficiency, and arrive at real progress.

The reasons to make the switch seem to be well understood. Feds say network modernization could reduce the time it will take to migrate to the cloud by an average of 27 percent. Agencies that have already made their network infrastructure a priority are reporting that they are significantly less likely to run into issues with the changing demands of cloud – at 42 percent compared to 89 percent.

So what can agencies do now to prepare for the future? The report indicates that defining network needs up front, prioritizing network modernization, and continuously communicating with internal and external stakeholders could be key to breakthroughs.

As it stands, just 22 percent of respondents say their current legacy network infrastructure is completely

prepared to handle cloud migration. The Federal government may still have a long way to go, but the need is clear. Sixty-eight percent say their agency’s cloud strategy will only reach its full potential with next-generation networks to support it, and 83 percent say that following through on those network modernization and cloud adoption goals will help deliver on mission in the next five years.

The report goes on to highlight some of the potential paths to success, such as the use of digital performance management, and identifies some of the key impacts to mission that network modernization can bring about. For even more insight on how to modernize Federal networks, view the full report.

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Joe Franco
Joe Franco
Joe Franco is a Program Manager, covering IT modernization, cyber, and government IT policy for