Why Government Agencies Should Adopt Network Transformation

Many modern governments are focusing on accelerating innovation and providing exceptional user experiences to their constituents. For this, they are embarking on digital transformation journeys, often powered by technologies like cloud computing, 5G, edge computing, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

But to improve their chances of successful digital transformation, they must improve performance and productivity, maintain cost-efficiency, and scale up their monitoring and security processes. They must also leverage mission-critical business applications, which often require huge amounts of bandwidth. Often, their existing networks are not designed to meet these challenges. In fact, 67% of federal IT professionals say that their legacy network infrastructure cannot keep pace with the evolving demands of cloud computing and hybrid technologies. Many agencies have not yet been able to complete their transition to the new Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) program. These are huge problems because the success of their digital transformation initiatives is often predicated on network transformation. That’s why they must modernize their networks and embrace true network transformation.

This article explores the various aspects of network transformation and why it is a critical catalyst and enabler of digital transformation for governments.

What is Network Transformation?

Traditionally, network management was done in a “siloed” manner with limited or no automated interactions between these separate entities. Moreover, networks and operations were believed to be completely independent. Today, as governments realize that the network is a critical component of the digital economy, they are making it a strategic priority rather than a forgotten after-thought.

Network transformation refers to an overhaul of network management mechanisms. It requires a thorough analysis of current network capabilities (“as-is”) and a comparison to the capabilities required (“to-be”) to support new technologies and digital transformation. It also requires understanding what bandwidth and capacity are required to support new workloads, potentially higher network traffic, data from IoT devices connected to the network, and a new breed of AI, machine learning and analytics tools.

For successful network transformation, shifting to an automation-focused mindset is critical. The network is no longer seen as a set of physical hardware components, but as a cluster of virtual software that can be easily deployed, distributed and updated. In a complex environment of growing networks, the underlying network must be considered from end-to-end. Automation must be leveraged to ensure that any network changes are seamlessly translated across all IT environments. Automation can also simplify one-touch security policy updates and enforcement at all ingress and egress points, and streamline critical monitoring and reporting processes.

To extract maximum value from the initiative, agencies must consider if their current network provides visibility into application performance and utilization across the enterprise.

Network transformation also means designing networks with security embedded in them from the beginning. As more devices and users access the network and bring with them bigger and more serious risks (uninvited data exfiltration, ransomware, DDoS attacks, etc.), older defense mechanisms are no longer sufficient to ensure the security of network infrastructure and data. To meet evolving and complex security requirements, new safeguards and approaches are required, which network transformation and automation can help support.

Finally, a transformed network requires a movement away from legacy WAN with its many hardware dependencies and traffic limitations. Software-defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) provide the solution to these challenges. Almost 70% of large enterprises are turning to SD-WAN, and governments must follow suit. Unlike hardware-focused legacy network approaches, SD-WAN is more elastic, scalable and reliable, and significantly cheaper to operate. It also provides the 24x7, cloud-driven network operating model that is often the critical ingredient for digital transformation. A managed SD-WAN solution from a Managed Service Provider (MSP) is future-ready and offers federal agencies transitioning to the EIS program a way to achieve network transformation and better prepare for future demands. It can be tailored to the agency’s specific needs, and typically comes with helpdesk support.

What are the Benefits of Network Transformation?

According to IBM, network transformation with automation and open platforms can reduce enterprise total cost of ownership by 50%, and increase workforce productivity by 30%. Managed SD-WAN also delivers huge budget benefits for government agencies. Moreover, with such a network, control is decoupled from the infrastructure, which reduces network rigidity, and increases the agency’s agility and efficiency. With standardized services, the next-generation network can also provide greater visibility and control, so problems can be easily isolated, and application performance-optimized.

Through virtual appliances, security can be pushed out to the edge to minimize the security challenges posed by some new digital technologies. Network segmentation can help isolate different classes of devices. Furthermore, ongoing monitoring, next-gen firewalls, and enhanced security controls and encryption can help agencies confidently face evolving threats, while also satisfying regulatory compliance requirements.

Unlike the active-passive architecture of legacy networks, transformed hybrid networks offer an active-active architecture and active connections. This helps smooth out traffic, so agencies can optimize bandwidth use. Such networks also help ensure that the agency’s cloud and mobile computing applications can directly access and utilize the entire network more efficiently.

Allied Telesis’ Secure SD-WAN solution offers better performance, improved security, more bandwidth at lower costs, as well as increased scalability so that government agencies can adapt to new technological demands on their networks with minimal hassle. At a broader level, these advantages ensure that they are well-positioned to better serve their constituents and patrons and improve their user experiences.


For government agencies looking to achieve their public missions in an increasingly digital landscape, network transformation is absolutely critical. However, it can be a daunting prospect. To ensure that the initiative has the most impact, even with limited budgets and resources, the agency can start at the network’s edge. This edge-first plan can be executed faster with minimal operational interruptions or downtime. It also provides robust security by creating an inherently-distributed security model and minimizing the risk of significant breaches that may otherwise result from a single point of failure.