When you think of organizations investing to deliver the best application experience, you usually think of private sector businesses. But Brad Welsh from the State of Indiana Office of Technology (IOT) has made it his mission to deliver the best application experience to 6.8 million constituents statewide.

Providing the applications IT backbone for the entire state

Brad, along with his team at the IOT, has helped 90 state agencies streamline operations, quickly fix their IT issues. and work better together – which means they all deliver a better experience to their constituents. And it’s all backed by Cisco Full-Stack Observability (FSO) solutions.

Brad says, “As a technology provider for the state, we have certain goals we need to achieve. We are shifting from a mindset of providing uptime on servers to a mindset of around-the-clock uptime across our infrastructure and business critical applications. It’s not just 8-to-5 anymore. Applications must be available all the time and we must have visibility into our network to make that happen.”

IOT supports a range of state partner agencies, from the Department of Motor Vehicles to the Commissioner of Higher Education. So, when service disruptions occur at any constituent-facing agency, Brad and his team need to address the issue quickly.

From fire drills and big, uncomfortable meetings to rapid resolution

Brad Welsh teaching FSO to colleagues
Brad Welsh teaching FSO to colleagues

“Before we implemented Cisco Full-Stack Observability,” Brad says, “we didn’t have the insight or visibility into the applications and across the network, that we needed. When an issue would arise, it would become a fire drill that would include many people across network, database, and many other IOT teams.”

And that meant if co-workers were called in to work on ruling out if an issue was caused by a network, by a third party vendor – a security issue – or something else – it was an interruption to their daily workflow and productivity But now with Cisco FSO, troubleshooting that used to take days now can take minutes.

There are no more fire drill meetings where everyone has to rapidly troubleshoot the root cause of issues in their respective area. In fact, Brad has empowered other IT teams he works with to take advantage of Cisco FSO technologies, and even held an event to educate other state agencies on how to modernize their applications and achieve full-stack observability.

Working smoothly through crunch time and dealing with the unexpected

The State of Indiana has a lot of transaction-based services. They have a lot of “Black Fridays” as Brad calls them – or days where their application infrastructure is tested by an onslaught of usage. For instance, a large citizen agency has end-of-month renewals that all need to be processed at the same time. In the past, it would be a disaster if this site went down at the wrong time – but recently Brad was able to determine if an issue was with the application infrastructure or the ISP – in minutes.

In addition to anticipating peak periods, Cisco FSO solutions have helped Brad deal with the unexpected.

During the pandemic, Brad was able to help the Workforce Development Department process a higher-than-average amount of unemployment claims. Ongoing application issues that had been a mystery to solve – like a certification printout for teachers’ licenses—became easier to troubleshoot and got fixed. And Brad’s office has helped the professional licensing agency he supports work better – so they can better serve their constituents at crunch time. And with Cisco Secure Application, security issues that used to bring down the whole application no longer do so because Brad can just temporarily shut down the part that needs to be fixed.


Learn more about Brad’s successes with Cisco Full-Stack Observability:

Indiana Wins with Cisco Full-Stack Observability



Frank Lynn

Manager, Cisco Applications Marketing

Cisco Applications