In some industries, Covid-19 has served as a war cry to push the lever on progressive digital initiatives. Urgency amid dire uncertainty created a reason to move forward and faster. Surveys have also indicated a much stronger focus on public cloud infrastructure, as IT leaders gravitate toward cost-effective, on-demand scalability. Yet plans are not the same for hard-hit sectors which have always been financially constrained – such as state and local government agencies and education (SLED), a core customer base of NextBit Technologies (NBT).
History: Founded in 2014
HQ: McLean, VA
Core services: Cloud enablement, DevOps, IT modernization, managed services
Target customers: State and local government & education (SLED), Fintech, SMB.
The IT budgets of SLED organizations were slashed once the pandemic took hold and their technology was behind the curve prior – compared with private sector clients, according to Mayur Vador, President & Founder of NextBit Technologies. Financial constraints aside, many SLED customers don’t have much visibility into what they have and what they need to begin a modernization journey. The company is ramping up its Managed Services business to meet these needs and has partnered with OpsRamp, an industry leader in digital operations management.
“My main focus is to position NBT as a technology optimization company, versus just selling somebody a new product,” Vador explains. “We want to help customers get value out of their existing stack and slowly modernize when they are ready.” For instance, closely monitoring cloud spend and optimizing workloads for efficiency is a no-brainer in this environment. NextBit customers are also choosing to invest in security assessments, as they migrate more assets to the cloud.
SLED challenges in 2020
Like many other industries, government and education organizations have been investing in software and equipment upgrades that enable remote work. Now, says Vador, is the time to think about infrastructure modernization and as always, the growing array of regulations. “The first step in that journey is the visibility of their current IT assets and technology footprint,” Vador says. “The most common challenge we face is identifying critical components of their IT infrastructure in a way that can help define the modernization path. With the right tools in place, SLED organizations can at least have better visibility of what they currently own and how well they are performing. Once that baseline is established, we take the necessary actions to optimize their assets that are idle or underutilized.”
Gaps in monitoring
Now that organizations have invested in and hopefully refined remote work enablement, government and education clients should take a closer look at capabilities for ensuring the high performance and reliability of IT assets. This gets harder with modernization because there are more environments and different technologies to track, integrate, and analyze. “We advise our clients to invest in tools that will provide a holistic view of their business-critical applications so they can be continually optimized to avoid IT outages and future budgetary issues,” Vador says.
For organizations that are still testing the cloud model, tools like OpsRamp can help track cloud migration progress and performance at various stages.”
“We anticipate that SLED organizations will have figured out remote enablement for their teams and business processes before the end of 2020 and will be ready to start thinking about challenges around monitoring and optimizing their IT resources,” Vador says. NextBit will continue to advise organizations to take those first steps towards optimizing their IT assets, realizing some operational cost savings, and then putting that money to better use around infrastructure and IT modernization efforts, he adds. This may not be as easy as it sounds but with the right public-private partnerships and the modern tools, SLED organizations will be better equipped to take on those challenges even on a tight budget.