How Brightspot helps government agencies overcome IT modernization hurdles

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Brightspot is a member of the AWS Public Sector Partner Network.

With new policies in place, including the congressionally mandated 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (or 21st Century IDEA), modernizing the U.S. technology infrastructure is finally a national priority.

Content management systems and digital experience platforms are an important piece of the puzzle, not only supporting the websites required to be updated by the end of this year, but also enabling the broader transition to smarter systems.

Brightspot powers hundreds of websites for some of the world's largest and best-known companies, and now the innovation developed from those projects has been applied to the Brightspot for Government, a solution purpose-built to help organizations deploy modernized content quickly and securely. Featuring USWDS templates that are compliant with the 21st Century IDEA and Section 508, the out-of-the-box platform empowers government agencies to build and launch new digital experiences in as little as 90 days.

When it comes to overcoming hurdles on the road to modernization, the Brightspot can be part of the solution to several of the most common ones, such as:

1. Budget

Insufficient funding is the top constraint cited by respondents to Accenture's recent State of Federal IT survey, but federal IT budgets are growing, and so is the recognition that more resources need to be allocated to the task of updating legacy systems. Brightspot eliminates the up-front costs associated with developing bespoke solutions while also avoiding the expensive maintenance pitfalls of such systems.

2. Training and workforce issues

In a survey released last fall, around half of respondents at federal agencies cited training and workforce development as top priorities in fulfilling a future vision of government IT, and 85% said they believe the government can't have modern technology without a modern workforce. Yet only 28% in the survey conducted by Meritalk and the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) felt very confident in the way their agency was preparing employees for a modern future. This speaks to a need for workforce development, but also to simpler tools that don't demand so much specialized expertise. One of the key advantages of the Brightspot is its simplicity and intuitive interface for end-users. In fact, it's so easy to use, the training needed to get up and running takes less than an hour.

3. Legacy technologies

Continuing reliance on outdated technologies hampers federal agencies, falling within the top three constraints cited in the Accenture survey. Updates are proceeding quickly, especially given the requirements and aggressive deadlines for revamped websites dictated by the 21st Century IDEA. As agencies navigate multiple IT assets that need to be modernized, it will be critical for any CMS to be flexible enough to accommodate a range of integrations with other software. Brightspot’s open API platform enables easy integration with many third-party applications, including social media, federated search, analytics and design software. This flexibility can help speed the transition away from legacy systems.

4. Security concerns

Cybersecurity is another top concern cited by federal agency professionals. Strengthening security ranks as the top priority for IT modernization in the ACT-IAC survey, and concern about security is the No. 2 hurdle cited in the Accenture survey. The Brightspot CMS for Government includes the security features agencies need and expect, supporting individual authentication through SAML; Active Directory; multi-factor, social network and custom authentication; as well as HTTPS SSL encryption. The platform is also fully functional with the Amazon Web Services GovCloud, so sites are compliant with FedRAMP, CSM Levels 3-5, and ITAR requirements.

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