Half of public sector IT pros feel new paradigms add complexity to their organization

Despite rapid adoption of new technologies to improve operations, a new survey commissioned by Splunk found half of public sector IT professionals feel new IT technology paradigms, such as cloud and DevOps, are adding complexity to their organization rather than simplifying operations.

The survey, conducted by Clarus Research Group, polled IT decision makers and influencers in federal and state local government, and education.

The findings also reveal that lack of resources remains a substantial problem for public sector. Selected by nearly half (44%) of respondents, public sector IT professionals cited insufficient IT resources (i.e. budget and personnel) as the biggest risk to their organization or agency over the next year.

While 71% of public sector IT professionals agree insights from IT data are important to their organization, the combination of increased complexity, limited resources and continued use of manual processes is making it difficult for public sector organizations to gain valuable insights from their IT data and achieve greater visibility into systems. Additional findings include:

 Lack of funding and budget constraints was selected by close to half (45%) of respondents as the top difficulty in managing IT operations.

 Nearly four in 10 (38%) say complexity of IT systems and technology is a top difficulty in managing IT operations.

● More than half (53%) of public sector IT decision makers feel their organization does not have end-to-end visibility across IT systems to foresee issues ahead of time, which often results in operational inefficiencies, delays and waste.

● Almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents revealed their organization is still using manual processes to gather information to solve issues and 58% admitted their troubleshooting is manual and ad hoc. Nearly half (48%) also say they either don’t have or don’t know if they have the ability to pinpoint problems because their systems are managed in silos.


“These survey results show a tremendous opportunity for public sector leaders. However, it’s also abundantly clear that most of public sector is dealing with increasingly complex IT systems that are hurting organizations’ ability to respond quickly to issues and limiting their visibility across agencies and programs,” said Kevin Davis, vice president of Public Sector, Splunk. “As public sector starts determining budgets for the new fiscal year, it will be critically important for these organizations to invest in technologies that give them a holistic view and insights into their IT operations environments.”

Data Formats and Ingestion

IT data formats and ingestion is another obstacle public sector organizations face when trying to gain insights. According to the survey, half (50%) of public sector IT pros say data in different formats or types has been a problem when trying to diagnose IT issues, and 40% agreed that data ingestion and normalization is cumbersome and tedious. These challenges are undoubtedly affecting organizations’ abilities to be operationally and financially efficient. The vast amount of data and formats available make it difficult for public sector organizations to determine where to start and what is relevant to the problem.

New Technologies to Meet Modern Challenges

The survey also revealed the IT technologies that public sector organizations will expand use of over the next few years. Server monitoring and analytics (74%) and network infrastructure monitoring analytics (71%) were the top IT solutions decision makers expect to expand more. In addition, nearly seven in 10 public sector IT pros (69%) said they expect to see use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solutions increase, including nearly nine of 10 (87%) federal national security respondents.

For a complete look at all the findings, including breakdowns within federal, state and local government and education, visit the Splunk website.

Infographic: Splunk