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    It's a transformative time in government information technology. Public sector organizations are moving to the cloud. At the same time, seemingly everything that can be virtualized is quickly heading in that direction. Immersive Web applications are enabling next-generation services, including innovative mobile apps that give agency staff members and constituents anytime access to valuable resources. Video seems to be everywhere, with one research firm estimating that video streaming accounts for more than 53 percent of all down¬stream traffic in North America.

    What if all of this exciting change — inside and outside of government — rested on a single foundation that could make or break almost any project? And what if that critical foundation was routinely overlooked in IT planning? Unfortunately, it does and it is.

    That critical resource is a high-performance wide area net¬work (WAN), and it acts as the essential, if sometimes under-appreciated link that connects people inside and outside government to data in the cloud, allows doctors and patients to collaborate via telemedicine, enables desktop virtualization to deliver attractive cost savings to agencies and underpins a host of other game-changing benefits.

    In this white paper from the Center for Digital Government (CDG), we break down what every IT leader needs to know about today's networking to ensure project success. The days are over when IT managers could order a switch or network service a few weeks before the go-live date of a new application. When so much hinges on the network, technology leaders must carefully consider this vital component early and often in the IT management process. The bottom line: To support current initiatives and enable emerging services, governments at all levels must take a strategic view of their networking infrastructure. 

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