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Study: Federal IT Pros Becoming Technology Early Adopters to Help Address Cost Cuts, Efficiencies, Federal Mandates as FY14 Budget Looms

New Research Shows 34 Percent of Federal IT Pros Surveyed Plan to Adopt Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Within Two Years to Meet Priorities, Yet Gaps Exist in SDN Understanding

Thursday, August 22, 2013 5:08 am PDT

Dateline:

SUNNYVALE, Calif.

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
JNPR

Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), the industry leader in network innovation, today announced the results of its survey of 250 federal IT professionals conducted by Wakefield Research. IT leaders and practitioners in the federal sector who were surveyed are looking to capitalize on major developments in networking technology to align investments with their top agency priorities of cutting costs (72 percent), increasing efficiency and business agility (68 percent) and meeting mandates (60 percent) as they plan for IT spending in the government's next fiscal year, which begins October 1.

Click to Tweet: Federal IT Pros Becoming Early Adopters of SDN, Study Shows http://bit.ly/JNPRnewz

As federal IT professionals plan for current and future budget cuts, agencies have to find improvements in IT efficiencies to reduce both CAPEX and OPEX. Additionally, several federal mandates are presenting federal IT workers with a unique set of obstacles as they prepare for the new fiscal year.

The survey showed that a majority (66 percent) of respondents believe SDN -- software designed to create more efficient and agile networks -- will be important in accommodating federal mandates or similar efficiency and budgetary requirements with more than one-third (34 percent) claiming they currently have concrete plans to adopt SDN within the next two years. Ninety-one percent of respondents see at least one area in their agency or department that will benefit from SDN and 61 percent of those in executive or management positions consider SDN an important factor in making networking buying decisions. In fact, most respondents who plan to adopt SDN indicate that they intend to do so within the next 13 months. These findings suggest that SDN will become a reality within government faster than many have forecasted.

However, agency preparedness is lacking, with nearly two-thirds (61 percent) surveyed saying they are not familiar with SDN. Even among those familiar with SDN, 58 percent had two or more misconceptions about the implementation of SDN. For example, 11 percent believed SDN only applied to data centers and 15 percent believed it required manual configuration of hardware. The reality is that SDN is being considered and applied in many parts of IT infrastructure, not just the network or the data center. Additionally, SDN will help remove manual configuration of hardware to orchestrate IT operations.

Supporting Quotes

"We see government and service providers both applying SDN to their network operations and continuous monitoring initiatives. Many agencies are working to automate and centralize network configuration and monitoring using tools like Chef and Puppet, enabling automated control-plane monitoring and configuration push and rollback. At Accelerated Servers, we have been successfully applying SDN functionality to integrate continuous monitoring of network operations, security and performance."

-Avi Freedman, CTO, Accelerated Servers

"As the research shows, government IT professionals are looking to lower costs and continue to turn to new technologies to realize efficiencies. Unfortunately, most networks lack the agility and efficiency needed to realize the full benefits of innovations like cloud. While the study shows that a significant number of federal IT professionals see how SDN will help improve business agility and efficiencies needed by agencies, the survey also points to an important knowledge gap of SDN among federal IT professionals. There is a clear need to develop a defined roadmap with an eye toward future-proofing government IT."

-Mark Belk, chief architect for national government, Juniper Networks

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About Juniper Networks

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