At the beginning of each year there are a good many quips about how the future is finally here. Yet, despite the fact that it is 2016, most government agencies still have a fair ways to go when it comes to modernizing their IT systems so that they can deliver more services to more citizens more quickly. Chris Steel, Chief Solutions Architect at Software AG Government Solutions, shared in a recent article in NextGov that he is confident that many government agencies will focus “on finding the necessary IT capabilities for ‘faster’ transformation [this year] as they realize their existing IT models are not capable of fully supporting their mission.”
This month’s ModernGOV Summit, hosted by FCW and Software AG Government Solutions was an engaging and educational event that brought together IT and business leaders from the federal government to share best practices and discuss the many pressing issues agencies face today. Two of the several government presenters that day included Steven Cooper, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the U.S. Department of Commerce and Dr. Barry West, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Their keynote presentations kicked off the morning and afternoon sessions targeted at sharing how IT can enable the types of transformation that will help agencies become more efficient in their mission delivery.
A couple of weeks ago we sat down with Bill Lochten, National Vice President at Software AG Government Solutions to talk about the importance of building strong ties between IT and business to ensure mission success. In Lochten’s opinion if these two groups within an agency are not working hand-in-hand with one another, there’s likely to be a great deal of frustration, resulting in lost opportunities to work more efficiently both in terms of output and budget. One of the areas where this is most apparent is when agencies are taking on transformation projects because the consequences of failure are so very high. To be blunt, under today’s stressed budgets, a failure of a ‘project’, can no longer just be absorbed, it translates into cuts in other areas that undoubtedly impact mission success or readiness.
A fundamental part of any IT decision maker’s job function these days is to show up at the myriad conferences hosted in this region that are intended to educate and persuade purchasing decisions for the systems and bits of infrastructure that need overhauling to ensure that agencies are equipped to meet their missions.