Emerging tech will power future of government IT in lean times

With the backdrop of the current budget climate, agency CIOs should leverage emerging technologies to better deal with demands of further belt-tightening and growing expectations for workplace efficiency, said a General Services Administration official.

In a June 18 blog post on GSA’s technology blog, Mary Davie, assistant commissioner of GSA’s Integrated Technology Services, addressed the demands for government CIOs to be more efficient with fewer resources. One way for agencies to up employee productivity is to use mission-enhancing technologies such as mobility, cloud, video and mobile apps. But that implementation doesn’t always come without its challenges, she acknowledged.

When resources are locked in legacy systems, agencies frequently duplicate efforts to meet similar requirements, she wrote. Citing a recent roundtable discussion, Davie said there’s a belief that agencies share infrastructure requirements more often than not, and government CIOs want to migrate more basic requirements to a service-based model.

To push the government forward, agencies have to shift their resources from legacy systems to emerging technologies, and transitioning to a governmentwide shared service will help eliminate duplication, Davie said.

Efforts in which agencies are sharing resources are already seen in programs such as Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program. The initiative’s “do once, use many” approach streamlines the security approval process for cloud providers, saving agencies time and money.

The Networx contract is another example where agencies can see substantial savings. Davie said agencies have that met contract requirements have saved about $7.7 billion since 1999 as compared to commercial telecommunications prices.

Those two efforts are good steps, but more work remains to be done, Davie stressed.

“Government must continue working with agencies and industry to define requirements and develop IT acquisition solutions that enable agencies to get more for their mission,” she wrote.

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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