The trends that shape the future of federal IT

Although no one can predict with certainty the future federal IT agenda, one senior General Services Administration official says several trends will drive what’s going on in the federal government for many years.

Dave McClure, associate administrator of GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, outlined those five trends during a panel discussion at 1105 Media’s FOSE Conference July 20.

First, McClure said that cloud computing is here to stay and its adoption doesn't depend on any one person, including Federal CIO Vivek Kundra who will leave his position in August. McClure said the administration is pursuing a “healthy take up” of cloud computing, especially for public-facing websites.


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The second trend McClure identified is a push for engagement and collaboration. “Cloud is teaching us that once we free data …there is a real thirst for more effective engagement with our citizenry,” he said, adding that agencies are also creating collaboration platforms internally.

McClure called the next trend “big data.” He said as a result of the Obama administration’s transparency programs, agencies are “drowning in tsunamis of data.” He said agencies are working to take those vast storehouses of information and turn them into value. In addition, more access to data should spur business intelligence and data mining, he said. 

Another trend revolves around mobile technology. McClure said he sees the technology as a new platform for creativity and innovation and the government will inevitably have to think strategically about how to deliver services in that environment.

And last, McClure said the federal government will continue to be challenged by security and privacy problems. “This is an area where you are never done,” he said. “Conversations around cloud are really accentuating that.”

He added that the government must move towards robust and continuous monitoring to prevent security threats.

About the Author

Alyah Khan is a staff writer covering IT policy.

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