Three Strategies to Reinforce IT Equipment in the Public Sector

government building and flag

Right now, public sector offices across the U.S. are experiencing unprecedented stress. In some communities, the rate of 911 emergency calls is three to four times higher than average. At the same time, more government employees are working from home than ever before.

Unfortunately, many state and local governments have aging IT backbones over five years old that aren’t able to handle the increased capacity.

government building with flag

As an IT manager, how can you ensure your legacy IT system meets current capacity needs? In this post, I outline how to approach this challenge by focusing on short-term, intermediate, and long-term solutions.

First, meet your immediate capacity needs

Keeping your community’s essential services running is your biggest priority, so direct your initial attention here.

Begin by taking inventory of your legacy IT equipment. Evaluate everything from your servers, storage, and networking gear to your uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) and power distribution units. Is this equipment adequately handling your current capacity? If you notice issues, look into upgrade or replacement options.

For guidance, your reseller or APC by Schneider Electric rep can help you assess your needs and offer solutions to scale up and maintain high network availability.

Next, weigh the health of your system

After you ensure you’re meeting your capacity needs, it’s time to consider the health of your entire IT backbone and whether it can support increased strain over the next few months.

Continue regular preventative maintenance and servicing, but also start to assess the age, wear, and functionality of your physical infrastructure. Taking incremental steps to modernize some or all of your equipment, such as refreshing your UPS or installing additional cooling, will harden your current network without extended downtime.

At this point, you should also reconsider your IT strategy. Does your current plan still align with your new needs? Make a note of the areas where you need to redirect your IT infrastructure budget and priorities and discuss these with your reseller or APC rep. For example, if a high percentage of your budget is eaten up by your legacy cooling system, investing in in-row cooling units may prolong the life of your servers and save you money at the same time.

Finally, make long-term plans

Addressing your future needs is the final step. Although we can’t say whether the strain on the public sector will remain as high as it is today, you can prepare for that possibility by modernizing or replacing your IT systems.

If your community anticipates continued strain on your emergency response system, then focus on your data center design. Today, new IT systems are connected to the cloud because it is efficient, reliable, and scalable. However, legacy on-premise systems built 10 or 20 years ago weren’t designed for this level of connectivity. Establishing a hybrid system where some of your legacy equipment remains on premise, while some services, such as email, payroll, and computer-based learning, happen off-site, is a solution that keeps you future-ready.

Expanding your existing data center infrastructure management (DCIM) is another long-term solution that’s particularly important if public sector employees continue working from home. With DCIM, you can monitor, manage, and troubleshoot your IT systems remotely using software that connects to your IT infrastructure.

Above all, look for solutions that are agile and scalable so that you can expand if your capacity continues to grow.

Preparing for the unknown

While it’s impossible to predict the future, we now know how important it is to prepare for the unknown. Now is time to ensure your legacy IT equipment is up to the challenge.

Whether you need assistance with preventative maintenance, modernizing your equipment, or want to explore complete replacement solutions, we’re here to help.

Call us at 1(877)-800-4272 to get started, or check out our partner selector tool to find a partner ready to support you.

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