RPA, Hyperconvergence Help the Labor Department Gain Efficiencies
“It identifies these patterns and creates a baseline so that there is a better way to predict behaviors and identify threat vectors that might arise,” says Charlier. “You can process a lot more data than a human can. We use these tools to make sure we stay vigilant and identify areas that could be vulnerable before they are harmed. “
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Department of Labor gains agility through the cloud
By optimizing and consolidating data centers since 2014, DOL has reduced its previous infrastructure to 73 hubs in the various agencies under its roof, says Charlier. These efforts, along with other centralization, have resulted in cost savings and avoidance of approximately $ 120 million, he says. Another five data centers are to be integrated into the agency’s convergent system in 2021.
At the same time, the IT team is moving more legacy operations to the cloud, including a presence on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure platforms. The hyper-converged infrastructure used by the agency creates a single fabric for resource management, regardless of where the resources are located.
DOL can move operations and data to where they are most technically and financially effective, enabling the agency to deliver infrastructure as a service and on demand.
“It allows us to be more agile,” says Charlier. “This way we can reach more people.”
This year, DOL will begin a three-year project to replace a 12-year-old legacy system and provide grant benefits to eight of its agencies, as well as other federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the IRS and the Department of Homeland Security. The project highlights the benefits of shared services made possible by cloud-based hyperconvergence, says Charlier.
“IT consolidations are helping federal agencies improve services to citizens in terms of time, quality and experience, especially with digital-based solutions,” notes McClure. “End users will see many benefits, including less complexity in government interactions and transactions.”
An example of how the modernization benefits users is the agency’s Foreign Labor Application Gateway, which handles the certification process for temporary workers, mostly seasonal workers with limited work visas. It had been a paper-based system – blue paper, to be precise, for printing certificates.
With a digitized system, applicants were able to access certificates online even during the pandemic. In addition, DOL saves about $ 2 million in paper costs annually, according to Charlier.
“This pandemic has really allowed us to focus on the values we can derive from this technology,” says Charlier.
“And the cloud, I think, has really been a lifesaver across the federal government for those who use it, because now that data is available where it wasn’t before,” he adds. “It was locked in servers or desktops that were in the office where people couldn’t access it.”
For the future, the agency is planning more digitization, in particular to serve an increasingly mobile national workforce. “We’re trying to look ahead and think about some of the most important IT challenges our citizens will face and how we can proactively address them,” says Charlier. “It really helps to change the culture within the organization when it is very mission-centered.”