Case Study

SCRGT’s responsive solutions make positive impacts on missions and lives.

Case Study: IT Engineering & Operations
Customer: Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Background

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan legislative branch agency that works for Congress, generally at the request of congressional committees or subcommittees or as mandated by public laws. Often called the “congressional watchdog,” GAO’s work may lead to laws and acts that improve government operations, saving the government and taxpayers billions of dollars. GAO has a comprehensive architecture and infrastructure that supports their headquarters and 11 field offices, including more than 500 non-virtual Windows and Linux servers, 160 virtual servers, 3,400 virtual desktops, a hyperconverged Nutanix server/storage solution with 100 TBs of capacity, a 60 TB EMC storage area network, and 10 virtual private networks (VPNs). Salient CRGT (SCRGT) handles approximately 110 change requests per month, including network configurations, patches, application deployments, and virtual data center updates, as well as 25,000-35,000 security events per week (e.g., firewall, IPS, Websense).

The Challenge

GAO sought to create a more predictable and consistent IT operating budget where they could reduce major budget outlays and, wherever possible, shift from a Capital Expense (CapEx) model to an Operating Expense (OpEx) model. At the same time, GAO wanted to increase its flexibility to evolve services to its internal and external users as mission needs change, improve overall IT performance, and increase information security.

The Solution

In 2019, GAO selected SCRGT to support this IT transformation, with activities spanning 30 key tasks. To migrate GAO from a traditional on-prem IT service delivery to a cloud-based managed services approach in a short period of time, we applied our low-risk “SCRGT Safe Journey” methodology to move from a task management to a performance-based service management framework in a way that instilled confidence and trust.

All of our leaders and staff, regardless of their position, rolled up their sleeves and worked hard with focused dedication and a sense of urgency. Our approach transformed GAO’s traditional on-prem service delivery to a FedRAMP-authorized managed services platform within four months, enabling enterprise service desk, enterprise monitoring, and IT administration from a secure, remote location, operating and available 24x7x365.

We employed ServiceNow as the heart of our managed services approach. In addition to leveraging ServiceNow’s robust IT Service Management (ITSM) capabilities, we extended it with SCRGT’s CONNECT tool that integrates GAO’s Integrated Master Plan/Integrated Master Schedule capabilities with our comprehensive personnel management functionality. Providing a single pane view across all activities, CONNECT enables GAO and SCRGT a clear view of how work is allocated and forecasted across the team, allowing for easy operations and maintenance adjustments as well as engineering and technology enhancements. The tool also provides near real-time visibility into task financials, including burn-down charts and spend rates, for GAO management.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic required major changes to how all government agencies conduct daily business activities. Our conversion to a performance-based, managed services platform aided our ability to quickly transition to a full telework model of support within hours, with no disruptions to service.

The Impact

We transitioned GAO’s IT service delivery to a managed services model in four months – eight months ahead of the initial one year schedule. This resulted in immediate improvements in service delivery; for example, starting the month following the transition (and despite a COVID-19 surge that increased and sustained call volume by 40% within two days), we improved successful call handling by over 600%, well surpassing industry standards.

Our leadership in achieving a performance-based services model has helped GAO shift its contractor oversight from managing individual tasks and assignments to managing service level achievements. With ServiceNow as the central platform for IT business and service management, visibility, tracking, and metrics, GAO eliminated dozens of hour-long coordination meetings each week, replacing them with three 15-minute stand-ups. By introducing innovations such as service delivery predictive analytics, we identified several trending infrastructure performance risks and proactively mitigated them to assure 100% compliance with SLAs for system health and availability.

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