Training helps keep employees up to date on the latest tech and keep them engaged, according to GSA Cloud Optimization Director Thomas Santucci.
As government agencies modernize their business technology operations, training current federal employees is one of the critical steps in implementing a robust and sustainable new infrastructure, according to a General Services Administration cloud expert.
Speaking during an ATARC webinar on Thursday, Data Center & Cloud Optimization Initiative Director Thomas Santucci discussed some of the changes GSA experienced transitioning to cloud-based software.
A critical pillar in its success has been frequent employee training.
“Agencies are tight on budgets … particularly training. Some managers feel like they don’t want to train their employees,” he said. But Santucci said the frequent changes in technology utilized by government agencies need employee training to keep up. This keeps employees capable and engaged in their daily work.
“Technology is evolving. We’re getting further and further away from our actual physical devices. You need to manage these things remotely,” he stated. “Find things that your employees are good at and train the hell out of them.”
Santucci added that providing comprehensive training on security protocols, new software and agencies' policies prevents employee turnover and improves service delivery. It also keeps employees prepared for remote work amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
He further discussed the GSA’s current priorities related to its IT operations modernization and the benefits that come with acquiring cloud services. Among these priorities are sustainable data operations and application rationalization efforts.
“We want to celebrate IT modernization, but as you’re doing your IT modernization and using your commercial services … you are reducing greenhouse gases, and we should be tracking that,” he said, noting that shifting to cloud platforms and away from physical data centers reduces an agency's carbon footprint and still complies with FITARA requirements.
GSA operates between 2,000 to 10,000 data centers but they aren’t the most efficient way to deliver IT services, Santucci said. Using a cloud service, agencies often see better bandwidth service options.
“Just by simply doing IT modernization and using commercial services, we’re reducing our federal footprint.”
Santucci also recommended using application rationalization procedures for organizations considering modernization. Such a review helps an organization distill which operational software and processes should be augmented or discarded during IT modernization efforts.
“The benefits are enormous when it comes to looking through your entire IT portfolio,” he said.