Don't be dazzled by e-gov

Federal information technology managers should not be blinded by the glitz

and glamour of building electronic commerce applications for their World

Wide Web sites, an industry leader warned Tuesday.

Rather, by focusing technology on the more mundane activity of improving

internal business operations, agencies can streamline operations and save

billions of dollars, according to Timothy Hoechst, vice president of technology

at Oracle Services Industries.

"We're looking at how we can "Amazon.com' everything," Hoechst said.

"That's important, but more important are the core business practices within

our organizations."

Hoechst, speaking at the Federation of Government Information Processing

Councils' Management of Change conference in Atlanta, advised the audience

to think about how the Web can meet the needs of agency employees.

He cited his own company as an example. He said Oracle identified several

IT applications that could be changed within the company, including consolidating

human resources systems, data centers and e-mail servers. The company estimated

that these strategies would save Oracle $1 billion in 18 months. But it

wound up taking only nine months to save $1 billion, he said.

"I encourage you to exploit Internet commerce," Hoechst said. "But if

you do that at the expense of internal processes — such as merging two e-mail

servers into one — then you are missing an giant opportunity to harness

the power of your information systems."

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