By Andras Szakal, CTO U.S. Federal, IBM
What emerging technology has the most power to change the game in addressing government’s biggest challenges?
It’s the use of containers in hybrid cloud orchestration using Kubernetes, and of course, this dovetails nicely into the evolving multi-cloud industry initiatives.
What are some of the government challenges it can help address?
Using a container and service orchestration based on (hybrid multi-cloud) approach accelerates your transition to the cloud, integrates multi-cloud APIs, and gives you the microservice architecture to transform and modernize. For example, DoD mission systems have traditionally been monolithic. They’ve been built using a monolithic architecture. That makes them hard to integrate and modernize over a period of time. So, from C4ISR to weapons systems, the D&I industry is trying to move toward a microservice based architecture to more effectively create more agile mission systems solutions.
How does IBM see this technology evolving over the next few years?
Microservice architecture is really the evolution of service-oriented architecture. It’s a form factor that allows us to reduce the amount of cascading change across a system. If you need to update a portion of a system – which is more often true than not – where you have different segments of a mission system evolving at different times, you can make a small change without affecting the entire system. Traditionally, making changes meant a lot of testing and deployment efforts. So, the hybrid, containerized approach allows you to make a targeted change.
Where does IBM think the change in microservices will go?
We think you’ll see it become overall more automated, tool-based, and create DevOps integrations in the CI/DC pipeline that will make it easier to manage the complexity.
You know the saying “many hands make light work.” Why is collaboration among technology partners so important in addressing government’s toughest challenges? Can you share an example where you saw this in action?
I think Call for Code is a great example of that kind of collaboration. Call for Code is a multi-year global initiative to inspire developers to use their skills to help change the world. In 2018, we focused on natural disaster preparedness. It’s an example of all kinds of people and entities coming together to come up with better ways to address disasters that affect multiple municipalities and institutions that aren’t necessarily used to collaborating. It’s these kinds of situations when you need cross-government coordination and cross-organization integration.