Survey: Feds overwhelmed by IT initiatives

Agency officials are overwhelmed with the burden of consolidating their information technology systems in multiple cross-agency initiatives, and agencies are turning to the private sector for help, according to a survey of 101 government IT professionals.

The survey and subsequent study, "Reading Between the Lines...IT Consolidation and FEA – Optimize the Outcome," states that 50 percent of those surveyed believe their agency has too many IT initiatives, such as Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 and Federal Information Security Management Act requirements. Starting in September, agencies must report quarterly on their Federal Enterprise Architecture progress.

The Office of Management and Budget could help feds by prioritizing projects in an easy-to-navigate system, according to the study. OMB also should explain consolidation plans more clearly to agency executives, and they, in turn, should explain them to their stakeholders, the report states.

O'Keeffe and Co. and business technology-optimization software company Mercury conducted the survey in July.

Consolidation is a big concern. The survey found that 47 percent of the professionals said it will be difficult to implement the business and cultural changes to do the necessary consolidations. A majority of respondents — 56 percent — said they outsourced most of their IT consolidation for the private sector to manage.

Of those surveyed, 70 percent said they believe their agencies would benefit from IT consolidation, and 59 percent of all the participants said cost-savings is the primary benefit that drives them toward consolidation, according to the survey.

Nevertheless, more than half said they are concerned about having less control over their IT applications as well as their speed and performance.

The survey showed IT professionals were concerned that consolidation may take away their ability to independently verify performance of their systems. They would lose oversight of the systems' processes. They are also concerned about the ability to maintain the performance of the systems.

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