IT success on a shoestring: 5 tips

A federal CIO has formulated these strategies to drive IT management in a time of fiscal restraint

Agencies are trying to run IT operations on diminishing budgets. Environmental Protection Agency CIO Malcolm Jackson has set five strategies that have proven to be effective.

  • Run the IT organization like a business. “We’re going to apply basic, sound business management to the way we operate information technology in federal government,” Jackson said.  “We want to ensure that IT is aligned with our agency’s goals.” As a result, the IT team has to make smart decisions about government business and especially about IT to avoid being bogged down by things that have hampered the organization in the past.
  • Focus on high-quality service. IT needs to deliver services in the time agreed on with agency users and deliver products that work right the first time. “To do this, we’ll engage in our governance process and move toward greater standardization,” Jackson said.
  • Strengthen partnerships. Focus on working with other agency programs; business partners; industry; and state, local and tribal governments. The EPA Central Data Exchange, which enables efficient, accurate environmental data, is an example of successful cooperation, he said. “Our technology enabled private industry to automate reporting on renewable fuel transactions, significantly lowering reporting costs,” Jackson said. The Moderated Transaction System, a part of CDX, was launched in July 2010.
  • Invest in talent management. “Our people are the greatest asset to the agency,” Jackson said. Jackson’s team has launched a talent management strategy to help employees in their personal and career development. The organization is helping minority academic institutions build pipelines to attract new people to government. Jackson’s office has also partnered with other agency offices to create voluntary mentoring programs so employees can receive advice on personal growth and career development from seasoned professionals.
  • Set a strategic direction for IT.  “We want to make sure all new developments follow all IT standards and programs, when feasible, using central services already in place rather than building something new.” That is a new approach for EPA, he said.
  • About the Author

    Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

    The Fed 100

    Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

    Featured

    • Shutterstock image (by wk1003mike): cloud system fracture.

      Does the IRS have a cloud strategy?

      Congress and watchdog agencies have dinged the IRS for lacking an enterprise cloud strategy seven years after it became the official policy of the U.S. government.

    • Shutterstock image: illuminated connections between devices.

      Who won what in EIS

      The General Services Administration posted detailed data on how the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract might be divvied up.

    • Wikimedia Image: U.S. Cyber Command logo.

      Trump elevates CyberCom to combatant command status

      The White House announced a long-planned move to elevate Cyber Command to the status of a full combatant command.

    • Photo credit: John Roman Images / Shutterstock.com

      Verizon plans FirstNet rival

      Verizon says it will carve a dedicated network out of its extensive national 4G LTE network for first responders, in competition with FirstNet.

    • AI concept art

      Can AI tools replace feds?

      The Heritage Foundation is recommending that hundreds of thousands of federal jobs be replaced by automation as part of a larger government reorganization strategy.

    • DOD Common Access Cards

      DOD pushes toward CAC replacement

      Defense officials hope the Common Access Card's days are numbered as they continue to test new identity management solutions.

    Reader comments

    Thu, Apr 28, 2011 Leo Colorado

    #6 - Leverage more Open Source Software where applicable/practicable (Servers, Office Automation Software, Web Hosting, etc.). Two immeadiate benefits, providing quality services to your business on a shoestring and 'motivates" proprietary software vendors not to steal you blind.

    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