Much to learn they still have
- By Mark Rockwell
- Sep 10, 2014
With apologies to George Lucas for the name, General Services Administration's CIO Sonny Hashmi said an "IT Jedi Council" has helped speed the development of new technology like mobile and social media apps and data analysis tools at the agency.
The group, which consists of 200-300 IT people in GSA business units, has been in existence "for a couple of years now," Hashmi told FCW in an interview after the AFCEA Bethesda breakfast Sept. 10. The idea behind the group, he said, is not just to "develop stuff,” but to then come back and explain how the technology or application can be useful to the larger "Jedi community."
The group's other goals include being champions for new technology within the agency and end-user testing for new mobile apps and devices, he said.
The idea of deploying knowledgeable individuals within a group to address enterprise-wide problems could be extended to GSA's larger mission of being an expert source of information to the federal acquisition community, Hashmi said. Contracting officers could be incorporated into the IT group to build their technical expertise. In turn, he said, those more technically adept contracting officers could help other agencies that come to GSA for acquisition help.
He said that Mary Davie, assistant commissioner of the GSA Federal Acquisition Service Office of Integrated Technology Services, is looking to hire a cadre of IT experts to help develop her program.
"With a cadre of experienced contracting officers, GSA could be Jedi Masters for federal contracting," he said.
Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.
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, tele.com 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.
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