Year Ahead

Chenok and Kamensky: Looking at the big picture

upward trend

This year promises to see significant activity across a range of management and technology issues. At the IBM Center for the Business of Government, we have noted a few that are likely to rise above others in terms of attention and potential impact:

1. Managing in the cloud. Now that the cloud-first policy and the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program are maturing, agencies are likely to look for new opportunities to leverage cloud computing for a wider range of IT needs, including application development and service provision. Expect a wider discussion around standardization as open-cloud technologies advance.

2. IT reform. In light of recent high-profile technology implementations and the legislative focus from the House and Senate on IT management and acquisition, various government and industry players will identify potential paths forward. The key will be ensuring that any initiative addresses systemic challenges in managing complex technology projects that involve multiple elements if performance is to improve.

3. The Obama management agenda. The White House plans to release a four-pronged management reform agenda in early 2014 that focuses on economy, efficiency, effectiveness, and people and culture. 

4. Implementing the Government Results and Performance Act modernization. This 2010 law is scheduled to go into full implementation in 2014, with a refreshed set of agency strategic plans released in February followed by new annual performance plans and agency priority goals. 2014 will see the first annual reviews and assessments by the Office of Management and Budget of agencies' progress toward their strategic goals, along with a governmentwide plan for cross-cutting, mission-related and mission-support priorities.

5. Tracking federal dollars. OMB is working with agencies and outside stakeholders in a significant effort to improve federal spending transparency. Congress will also again take up the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act.

6. Privacy. The Obama administration will review and respond to recommendations from various internal and external groups as agencies continue to seek new ways to protect personal information.

7. Security beyond FISMA. OMB's policy encourages agencies to move to the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program and the Department of Homeland Security's CDM contract. Combined with the government's adoption of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's cybersecurity framework, we’ll see a convergence that will make 2014 a year of significant change in federal cybersecurity.

About the Authors

Dan Chenok is executive director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government.

John M. Kamensky is a senior fellow at the IBM Center for the Business of Government and a fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration. He can be reached at


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