Juggling act

For years now, as the government payroll has gotten smaller, federal agencies

have been told they must learn to use technology to "do more with less."

In the coming years, doing more with less likely will mean outsourcing some

IT projects altogether, which creates a new set of management problems.

Renny DiPentima, president of SRA International Inc.'s government sector

and former IT chief at SSA, says government will have to rely on the private

sector for specialized skills such as security, networking and database

management.

For those IT leaders who are left to manage the increasingly outsourced

technical work, they must be highly IT literate but able to overlay business

judgment, he said. "You'll get some person who was the greatest database

administrator in the world," DiPentima said. "What does that have to do

with managing the IRS or Social Security or DOD? Nothing."

Outsourcing for agencies will mean future IT leaders also will have

to juggle numerous contract vehicles and manage people who don't work directly

for the government, said Anne Reed, vice president of the global government

industry group at EDS. As that aspect of an IT leader's job increases, resources

rules will have to change to acknowledge that requirement, she said.

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