Coleman's parting thoughts at GSA

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Casey Coleman recently left GSA to join AT&T Government Solutions.

Before she left for the private sector in mid-January, former General Services Administration CIO Casey Coleman offered some parting advice: Keep an eye on big data, robotics and 3-D printing.

Coleman's last day at the agency was Jan. 17. The following week, she became client executive vice president at AT&T Government Solutions.

In her final post on GSA's "Around the Corner" blog, Coleman noted that big data, robotics and 3-D printing are worth watching. She had praised all three in previous blog posts.

Along with the technological prognostications, though, Coleman elaborated on some of the more concrete savings and efficiencies that GSA achieved while she was there, which she credited to cloud and mobile computing in particular. She said moving the agency's email and collaboration to the cloud and allowing employees to work from any location at any time using any device saved $2 million.

"My office also led the way in zero-based budgeting to make sure IT dollars were being put to the best strategic use," she wrote. "Of course, GSA has a long tradition of giving employees the best tools for taxpayer value, and GSA IT is set to expand on that goal."

Coleman claimed that GSA has become one of the most collaborative and innovative agencies in the federal government and noted that it was the first to adopt social media policies to spur use of Facebook and Twitter in pursuit of the agency's mission. Its own social media tool, called Chatter, hosted GSA's Great Ideas Hunt, which generated 632 money-saving proposals from employees. Coleman said the five ideas that were chosen for implementation could save GSA $5 million annually.

IT has also transformed GSA's business strategy and has earned "a seat at the table with our business line," she said. She pointed to GSA's Total Workplace initiative as proof that IT can team up with the agency's business lines to deliver sustainability, cost-savings and improved productivity.

"I certainly look forward to seeing what GSA does with all the new technology and innovation just around the corner," she said.

The same day Coleman published her final blog post, GSA announced that it was canceling the annual GSA Training and Expo for the second year in a row, citing reduced travel and overall budgets. However, it did not rule out holding the event in 2015.

"GSA Training and Expo has provided a valuable forum for our partners to receive acquisition training and for government and industry to interact and share business information," a notice on the event's website states. "GSA remains committed to addressing the need for training and will identify the most effective way to offer Expo 2015 to deliver better value and savings for our government partners, our vendors and the American people."

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a staff writer at FCW.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

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