Hybrid IT helps U.S. Air Force focus on mission, CTO says

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The Air Force’s move into hybrid IT is largely driven by a commitment to mission effectiveness, according to CTO Frank Konieczny.

“We want to take the best of what we have in the [Defense Department] and the Air Force as well as combining it with all sorts of commercial entities that actually are state-of-the-art,” Konieczny says in an interview with FedScoop TV.

Hybrid IT allows for the capability of using state-of-the-art software that the service would not purchase or have otherwise, according to Konieczny.

“Most importantly, it actually frees the airmen from doing things, because remember we don’t have a whole lot of airmen actually right now because of the drawdowns and things, and so the issue becomes we want them on mission more than anything else,” Konieczny says, adding that commodity work is not the top priority. “We want to be able to make sure that they all do mission work, and therefore that’s part of the hybrid IT philosophy.”

The Air Force’s current IT strategy aims to consolidate applications into two data centers, which Konieczny says will necessitate the move of 3000 to 5000 applications. The goal is to use DevOps capabilities to move these to a hybrid environment, allowing the Air Force to take advantage of software-as-a-service capabilities while retaining some processing capabilities in case of disconnect, Konieczny says. This model will lend more efficiency in fielding required applications and doing data analytics.

“Obviously, things come up that we have to respond to right away, and it’s very difficult with the processing capabilities that we have right now unless we can dynamically tap into something that gives us all these capabilities,” Konieczny adds.

Konieczny advises other agencies that are making this transition to keep the endpoint in mind and understand that these changes are likely going to be both transformational and disruptive.

“Look for the goal that you want to achieve. Look at what technology is out there, what you can grab from the commercial side as well as from your own side, combine them together in figuring out what’s the best steps you need to take to do that,” he says.

This video was brought to you by Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Learn about HPE’s hybrid IT solutions here.

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