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Empowering U.S. Public Services: Modernizing IT Infrastructure with Colocation

Author: Wray Varley, Vice President, Government Sales

Digital transformation continues to impact the way organizations do business across the globe, and government agencies are no exception. Digital Transformation and the rise of technologies like AI and HPC, have created a data-powered economy. With this explosion of data, governments are increasingly turning to colocation solutions to streamline and optimize their IT operations.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, many state and local agencies need greater capacity, improved risk management and reliability, and security. Barriers to access include outdated equipment and infrastructure, budget constraints, risk adversity, and diversification of energy sources.1 Fortunately, colocation can offset many of the challenges of modernizing IT infrastructure.

Four key advantages to colocation in public services

There are four key advantages that colocation provides for operational excellence in public services:

  1. Security and compliance — Given the sensitive nature of the data obtained by the public sector, it's imperative that advanced security precautions are taken to protect that data. Commercial colocation facilities generally employ enhanced security measures to ensure that data is secure and protected, including 24/7 security guards, biometrics, and extensive surveillance systems. Colocation providers also leverage cutting-edge technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), to learn, adapt, and evolve to stay ahead of impending cyber threats. Additionally, adherence to industry-specific compliance standards ensures that government organizations meet the necessary regulatory requirements.
  2. Reliability — Downtime isn't an option for any business, let alone government agencies. Data center providers go beyond resilience and adapt and improve core designs to ensure the continuity of operations despite unplanned interferences. Colocation providers anticipate and continually improve on how to react to threats with the goal of maintaining uptime. As an example, data centers mitigate energy blackouts and prepare for worst-case scenarios with backup generators that run on fuel or alternative energy sources for hours — even days — before refueling.
  3. Scalability and flexibility — Colocation providers are continuously adding new technologies that bring customers even more value and flexibility. Interconnection solutions enable government agencies to connect between data centers and offer dynamic connectivity to clouds and carriers designed to support government organizations’ shift to a hybrid, data-centric architecture.
  4. Cost efficiency — Maintaining and upgrading legacy on-premises data centers can be difficult and time-consuming. Multi-tenant colocation allows organizations to access data center resources where they need them on a cost-effective basis. The alternative would be for those organizations to build their own dedicated facilities and have operational staff in every desired location. By reducing the burden of upfront capital expenditures and ongoing maintenance costs, colocation enables public-sector agencies to allocate resources more efficiently, directing funds toward essential public services.
Is colocation the right choice for your agency?

Regardless of a corporate or agency mission, the challenges remain largely the same‌ — ‌ever-changing technologies and mandates continue to apply pressure to modernize. By outsourcing data center management to colocation providers, public sector organizations can streamline and modernize their infrastructure while directing their focus and resources toward core competencies. This shift allows the Public Sector to concentrate on delivering essential public services, leveraging the expertise of colocation providers to handle the complexities of infrastructure management.

The benefits of outsourcing colocation are clear — enhanced security, reliability, scalability, cost efficiency, and the ability to refocus on core competencies. By leveraging the strengths of colocation, government entities can embark on a path of innovation, efficiency, and improved citizen services in an increasingly digital world.

Digital Realty provides public-sector agencies with future-proof infrastructure and expertise in the right location. With 300+ data centers in 50+ metros across 25+ countries, Digital Realty delivers the world's largest global data center platform.

With Digital Realty's PlatformDIGITAL® you can securely deploy, connect, and control critical infrastructure at any capacity for any workload at any scale. With flexibility to work with best-in-breed partners, government agencies can utilize Digital Realty’s open ecosystem to seamlessly interconnect workflow participants, applications, clouds, and centers of data exchange.

Learn more about how you can achieve IT optimization.

1. Better Building Alliance. State & Local Government Data Centers. Retrieved from