Since the IRS began its latest effort to modernize its IT systems, the agency has made great efforts at keeping its systems current. This includes upgrading hardware that is end of life, updating and patching operating systems, and deploying new versions of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) and custom software. Given that the IRS services must be available 24×7, 365 days a year, the window for updating any system is extremely narrow.
The IRS eAuthentication system, which provides registration and login capabilities for mission critical taxpayer applications, is comprised of numerous COTS products and custom subsystems that are distributed throughout multiple data centers. With dozens of applications relying on its services, a failure to any part of the system could jeopardize essential IRS operations. When the IRS requested that STP upgrade and migrate the entire implementation to a new operating system just months before the tax season, STP’s engineers knew that automation was the only means for which success was possible.