When Maria Roat became the chief information officer of the Small Business Administration, she had a few goals to accomplish in the first year: Get on Microsoft Office 16 and Windows 10, get to four racks on the agency’s data center, and move from copper to fiber. For a small government agency, these goals were ambitious. In Roat’s first month at SBA, a third of the agency’s network was saturated. Roat partnered with Microsoft to make these goals a reality.






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More than one-third of the Small Business Administration’s 120 circuits are overloaded. To resolve this issue, chief information officer Maria Roat plans to modernize SBA’s infrastructure by moving to a “pure Ethernet backbone.” She said Ethernet will help employees with Skype and virtual counseling, and will extend to all of the agency’s field offices.






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The secret to the Small Business Administration’s success in going from cloud launch to receiving an authority to operate (ATO) in less than three months was to burn the bridge back to the old way of doing things and commit completely to cloud migration, according to SBA Deputy CIO Guy Cavallo and CTO Sanjay Gupta.






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When the cloud houses many single applications that aren’t designed to work with other servers, it can indicate communication problems within government agencies. The Small Business Administration uses the same application on two different cloud networks. “Two offices that never talk to each other, they’re doing the same thing,” said Maria Roat, chief information officer at the SBA, who spoke at Cloud Connect on Nov. 2 in Washington, D.C. “The problem right now is the cloud is really siloed.”






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