Federal Government Embracing ‘the Cloud’

U.S. chief information officer Steven VanRoekel says that the federal government will depend on “the cloud” (Internet-based computer services) more in the near future.

“My office is leading the charge on how to shift to the cloud,” VanRoekel said in a recent interview at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The shift will start with the feds’ $80 billion annual technology budget.

VanRoekel said better management will enable tighter cybersecurity, although all such initiatives will have to be approved by the Department of Homeland Security.

His 2012 goals include better return on investment, a productivity improvement, and more citizen interactions.

“We have a really great opportunity to cut costs while increasing our productivity,” he said. “We have to use the size of the federal footprint and our buying power to change how we do things.”

Mobile technology is a key. “As I look across the way we use mobile in government, it’s very fragmented. We have a real opportunity to bring to bear mobile technology in federal government that changes the paradigm.”

A survey of 200 federal I.T. workers in December, 2011, found that 45 percent use mobile devices for their jobs on a daily basis. Email apps are used by 93 percent and Facebook by 68 percent.

VanRoekel’s new federal mobility strategy outline presents six broad goals:

1) incorporate the potential of mobile technology into federal government activities;

2) build mobile technologies and services so they can be reused and shared among agencies and public developers;

3) manage mobile acquisition, wireless acquisition, inventory and expenses efficiently;

4) create a government-wide foundation to provide mobility services across all agencies;

5) promote collaboration to enhance mobility technology across government; and

6) establish a governance structure for federal mobile efforts.

With the publication of the draft mobile strategy outline, VanRoekel said he wants to hear from the public about the mobile strategy. His expectations are to release the federal mobility strategy within 60 days and to have the plan fully implemented within 12 months.

“We truly have an opportunity to change the way we do things in a cost-effective way, and to make us more efficient in everything we do,” he said.

Telework is another key. “One of the things we’re trying to promote is telework,” says U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who is backing telework legislation. “If you don’t have this kind of provision, it’s very difficult to achieve what we want. This is going to help facilitate a lot of other goals. It also helps recruitment and retention. I applaud what Steve has done.”

As part of an overall federal I.T. strategy promoted by President Barack Obama, the Department of Defense is preparing to release its own mobile strategy; the National Institute of Standards and Technology (N.I.S.T.) is working on mobile guidelines; and the General Services Administration (G.S.A.) is working on strategic sourcing.

U.S. chief information officer Steven VanRoekel says that the federal government will depend on “the cloud” (Internet-based computer services) more in the near future.

“My office is leading the charge on how to shift to the cloud,” VanRoekel said in a recent interview at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The shift will start with the feds’ $80 billion annual technology budget.

VanRoekel said better management will enable tighter cybersecurity, although all such initiatives will have to be approved by the Department of Homeland Security.

His 2012 goals include better return on investment, a productivity improvement, and more citizen interactions.

“We have a really great opportunity to cut costs while increasing our productivity,” he said. “We have to use the size of the federal footprint and our buying power to change how we do things.”

Mobile technology is a key. “As I look across the way we use mobile in government, it’s very fragmented. We have a real opportunity to bring to bear mobile technology in federal government that changes the paradigm.”

A survey of 200 federal I.T. workers in December, 2011, found that 45 percent use mobile devices for their jobs on a daily basis. Email apps are used by 93 percent and Facebook by 68 percent.

VanRoekel’s new federal mobility strategy outline presents six broad goals:

1) incorporate the potential of mobile technology into federal government activities;

2) build mobile technologies and services so they can be reused and shared among agencies and public developers;

3) manage mobile acquisition, wireless acquisition, inventory and expenses efficiently;

4) create a government-wide foundation to provide mobility services across all agencies;

5) promote collaboration to enhance mobility technology across government; and

6) establish a governance structure for federal mobile efforts.

With the publication of the draft mobile strategy outline, VanRoekel said he wants to hear from the public about the mobile strategy. His expectations are to release the federal mobility strategy within 60 days and to have the plan fully implemented within 12 months.

“We truly have an opportunity to change the way we do things in a cost-effective way, and to make us more efficient in everything we do,” he said.

Telework is another key. “One of the things we’re trying to promote is telework,” says U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who is backing telework legislation. “If you don’t have this kind of provision, it’s very difficult to achieve what we want. This is going to help facilitate a lot of other goals. It also helps recruitment and retention. I applaud what Steve has done.”

As part of an overall federal I.T. strategy promoted by President Barack Obama, the Department of Defense is preparing to release its own mobile strategy; the National Institute of Standards and Technology (N.I.S.T.) is working on mobile guidelines; and the General Services Administration (G.S.A.) is working on strategic sourcing.

Leave a reply