White House forum examines IT, government modernization

Business leaders met with government officials to share best practices on how to be more efficient

Federal agencies can learn from businesses as governments sets out to modernize how they operate, according to business leaders who participated in a White House forum with government leaders.

In one breakout session with Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Scott Gould, several business leaders said government processes need to change. Although technology can help enable that change, it cannot be the sole way government agencies become more efficient, said Andrea Jung, chairman and chief executive officer of Avon.

Transformation goals should not be left solely for chief information officers and their information technology staffs, Jung said at the Jan. 14 event.

In Gould’s breakout sessions, the business leaders said processes should be redesigned starting with the end customer and working backward. For example, NASA should work with astronauts early on in designing spacecraft, rather than waiting to bring them at the end when a vehicle is nearly complete.

“So you have to re-engineer the process and really go to the customer end before you start applying technology,” Jung said.

President Barack Obama spoke during the opening of the forum even though he had pressing meetings related to the earthquake in Haiti. Taking time to speak at the event demonstrates how important Obama thinks modernizing government is, Gould said.

“I want us to ask ourselves every day, how are we using technology to make a real difference in people’s lives,” Obama said. “Improving the technology our government uses isn’t about having the fanciest bells and whistles on our Web sites — it’s about how we use the American people’s hard-earned tax dollars to make government work better for them.”

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • Social network, census

    5 predictions for federal IT in 2017

    As the Trump team takes control, here's what the tech community can expect.

  • Rep. Gerald Connolly

    Connolly warns on workforce changes

    The ranking member of the House Oversight Committee's Government Operations panel warns that Congress will look to legislate changes to the federal workforce.

  • President Donald J. Trump delivers his inaugural address

    How will Trump lead on tech?

    The businessman turned reality star turned U.S. president clearly has mastered Twitter, but what will his administration mean for broader technology issues?

  • Login.gov moving ahead

    The bid to establish a single login for accessing government services is moving again on the last full day of the Obama presidency.

  • Shutterstock image (by Jirsak): customer care, relationship management, and leadership concept.

    Obama wraps up security clearance reforms

    In a last-minute executive order, President Obama institutes structural reforms to the security clearance process designed to create a more unified system across government agencies.

  • Shutterstock image: breached lock.

    What cyber can learn from counterterrorism

    The U.S. has to look at its experience in developing post-9/11 counterterrorism policies to inform efforts to formalize cybersecurity policies, says a senior official.

Reader comments

Tue, Feb 9, 2010 oh10101

"In Gould’s breakout sessions, the business leaders said processes should be redesigned starting with the end customer and working backward." I agree, Strategic Planning Reality (SPR) will seldom mandate Tactical Operations Actuality (TOA). However, I trust a solution that uses academia and graduate students to help government and military to find and design the best solutions. Industry should have only one agenda (with government and military) and that is to get the contract that will produce the best systems and services for US. If the industry primary agenda is Uncle $am, then expect the least value at the highest cost to mitigate surprises.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group