FOSE

Public-private group envisions 'acquisition of the future'

Kymm McCabe

ASI Government CEO Kymm McCabe says Acquisition of the Future wants to start a conversation in the acquisition community.

A group of industry and government procurement officials looking to build a new technological and procedural path for the acquisition community is spreading a wider net for participants.  

In a FOSE panel presentation on Acquisition of the Future’s aspirations, one of the drivers of the movement, ASI Government CEO Kymm McCabe, said the effort is aimed not at finding a specific solution, but in starting a conversation. For it to gain traction, the conversation that has been taking place for the last few months among a relatively small number of CIOs and industry officials has to spread more widely among the tens of thousands of government acquisition professionals.

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The group wants to come up with a common vision, terminology and developmental framework for the fragmented acquisition community at the dawn of a new operating environment. Social networking, application program interfaces, Google Glass and modular IT technologies, according to McCabe, are pushing out paper and even many Internet-based capabilities. The disruptive technologies  short-circuit more traditional paths to acquisition's future.

Innovative online services such as Amazon.com and technologies such as Google Glass have rippled through private industry, altering the way they do business. They have the same potential for government procurement, said McCabe. Google Glass, for example, could allow for speedier, more informed request-for-proposal writing by offering instant access to information.

She said, however, AOF isn't pushing specific technologies, but looking to gauge how they might affect acquisition  and the upcoming influx of new "digital natives" into the federal acquisition workforce. The constant influx of new technologies and a growing workforce that's familiar with them requires a new approach, she said.

"You can't reform our way through this with incremental improvements. It's an entirely new way of doing things," said McCabe. 

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a staff writer covering acquisition, procurement and homeland security. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

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