The benefits of MITA’s LAN Procurement Framework
Written by Elaine St. John & Reuben Camilleri
Digitalization is no longer a matter of how but rather one which strictly relates to when. The push towards digitalization has taken an exponential leap in the last few years, largely due to the ever-increasing demand on IT-related services and products that rely on digital connections.
The Maltese Government is always at the forefront in providing citizens with access to value added services which are both efficient and effective in terms of quality and execution.
MITA, being the enabler of such services, invests heavily in technological solutions by embarking on projects and procurement frameworks that give the Government the right options and tools with which such services can be offered.
One of the latest procurement frameworks offered by MITA was that through which wired and wireless network equipment can be procured by government organisations. Now commonly known as ‘LAN Procurement Framework’, the benefits this framework provides are multiple – apart from offering highly discounted prices on various switches/access point models and greatly reduced complexity and delivery times, it also paves the way to a standard setup across the numerous government sites. Through the installation of networking devices of the same brand and model, MITA can offer the best possible service in terms of updates, maintenance and network changes that meet client expectations who can therefore keep offering fit-for-purpose services to the public.
As part of the wireless framework, MITA procured enterprise grade network equipment to redesign the provision of wireless networks across government sites. One of the main objectives of this framework was to simplify the procurement process vis-à-vis client related wireless infrastructure projects. The MITA Network Services team created a simple yet scalable design which is easy to replicate across different government sites and is centrally managed from the backend infrastructure. In addition to the widely known benefits offered by wireless connectivity, wireless network access has become ubiquitous to accommodate the new mobile workplace. Trends such as seamless remote working (securely work from anywhere) and the increasingly expanding domain of Internet of Things (IoT) introduced ancillary management and security control challenges. The high level of investment in this new wireless infrastructure, opened a new window for supporting enhanced user mobility, productivity and security control requirements with the adoption of Network Access Control (NAC) technology.
The MITA Network Services team invested a lot of resources over the past months to get to a stage whereby this LAN Procurement Framework could start being used by the CIO Offices across government. The procurement made so far by CIO Offices on wired and wireless network equipment has already been significant; which resulted in substantial cost savings for government. It is envisaged that through the resultant standardised setup across government sites, the LAN Procurement Framework will provide always-on network connectivity with the desired performance and user experience coupled with a high return on investment.