Fed CIO, CTO Agree On Collaboration

It appears that federal chief information officer Steven VanRoekel and chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra agree on the need to make IT more efficient through inter-agency cooperation, thanks to the federal government’s push toward financial belt-tightening.

One of VanRoekel’s first efforts is to improve collaboration and coordination among agencies by promoting a “share-first” policy through the Office of Management and Budget. VanRoekel says the idea is to have agencies look to others when buying technology or upgrading systems before going off on their own.

“We plan to work with our counterparts in procurement, in agencies and with Congress to drive this ability to share,” he says. “We can take advantage of lowering the cost structure and increasing the pace of implementation. If someone else procured the system or technology first, we are able to use it much faster.”
In addition, a large effort VanRoekel calls “Future First” will include the continued push for agile software development, including mobile strategies. He believes that smartphones and tablets are part of the innovations agencies are considering. To that end, VanRoekel said the administration’s cloud security standards, FedRAMP, continue to be in the final stages of development.

Chopra likewise points to crowd-sourcing (collaboration on a mass scale) to drive cost savings and innovation. He highlights the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s recent crowd-sourcing initiative to gather ideas for its next combat support vehicle. Victor Garcia, an ordinary citizen, beat out nearly 200,000 entries this summer with the Flypmode, which is designed to transport personnel in and out of combat more quickly.

“But these things don’t happen without human capital to push them,” he says.
Meanwhile, the Federal Labor-Management Council Office — which OPM director John Berry heads — has taken advantage of the Homeland Security Department’s Idea Factory, an online crowdsourcing tool, to harvest ideas for improving personnel management.

The philosophy of bottom-up innovation is what will keep high-tech government human, Berry notes. “I believe that today’s technology is at its most powerful when it brings people together — that is the overarching power of the Internet and the cell phone and devices that we use every day. But if we’re not careful, our excitement with the tech can overshadow the purpose of that connection.”

It appears that federal chief information officer Steven VanRoekel and chief technology officer Aneesh Chopra agree on the need to make IT more efficient through inter-agency cooperation, thanks to the federal government’s push toward financial belt-tightening.

One of VanRoekel’s first efforts is to improve collaboration and coordination among agencies by promoting a “share-first” policy through the Office of Management and Budget. VanRoekel says the idea is to have agencies look to others when buying technology or upgrading systems before going off on their own.

“We plan to work with our counterparts in procurement, in agencies and with Congress to drive this ability to share,” he says. “We can take advantage of lowering the cost structure and increasing the pace of implementation. If someone else procured the system or technology first, we are able to use it much faster.”
In addition, a large effort VanRoekel calls “Future First” will include the continued push for agile software development, including mobile strategies. He believes that smartphones and tablets are part of the innovations agencies are considering. To that end, VanRoekel said the administration’s cloud security standards, FedRAMP, continue to be in the final stages of development.

Chopra likewise points to crowd-sourcing (collaboration on a mass scale) to drive cost savings and innovation. He highlights the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s recent crowd-sourcing initiative to gather ideas for its next combat support vehicle. Victor Garcia, an ordinary citizen, beat out nearly 200,000 entries this summer with the Flypmode, which is designed to transport personnel in and out of combat more quickly.

“But these things don’t happen without human capital to push them,” he says.
Meanwhile, the Federal Labor-Management Council Office — which OPM director John Berry heads — has taken advantage of the Homeland Security Department’s Idea Factory, an online crowdsourcing tool, to harvest ideas for improving personnel management.

The philosophy of bottom-up innovation is what will keep high-tech government human, Berry notes. “I believe that today’s technology is at its most powerful when it brings people together — that is the overarching power of the Internet and the cell phone and devices that we use every day. But if we’re not careful, our excitement with the tech can overshadow the purpose of that connection.”

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