Federal Government Takes Steps Toward IT Efficiency

As administration officials realize that the performance, productivity and efficiency are lagging far behind the private sector in terms of information technology, U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra says he wants to close the gap.

Fragmentation, poor project execution, and the drag of legacy technology have supposedly prevented the federal government from realizing the productivity and performance gains that are found when IT is deployed effectively in the private sector. The administration plans to streamline operations, transform customer service, and maximize the return on investment from information technology.

“Governments in the United States and around the world have made tremendous progress in the area of applying information technology to improve efficiency,” says Bruce Mehlman, Executive Director of the independent Technology CEO Council.

The feds plan to spend $79.4 billion on information technology in 2011, a 1.2 percent increase over 2010.

Identifying ways to achieve greater efficiencies in the areas of most rapid cost growth in the past — like developing new mission-oriented systems and infrastructure — is an important part of the administration’s IT strategy. The strategy to control IT spending will also focus on reversing the growth in the number of agency data centers, which increased over 150 percent from 432 in 1998 to 1,100 in 2009.

Adopting a cloud computing model is a major part of the strategy. After evaluation in 2010, agencies will deploy cloud computing solutions across the broad expanse of the federal government to improve the delivery of IT services. An online storefront is planned to enable subscribers to access lightweight collaboration tools, software, and platform and infrastructure service offerings in a cloud environment. Security will be the highest priority when executing future cloud computing plans.

Today, in the federal government, it is difficult just to locate a person in another agency, much less find people with common interests and problems and leverage IT to work collaboratively. So the administration is also looking for a technology platform that enables effective collaboration across agencies, across distances, and across governmental boundaries.

The rise in social media and Web 2.0 technologies has proven that no single organization has a monopoly on good ideas. A collaboration platform would integrate social media technology with the ability to collaborate across established boundaries. This platform would enable federal employees to locate other employees with common challenges, needed skills, and ideas to solve common problems, communicate and share information, and generate better solutions to problems more efficiently.

This year, an overall evaluation has been undertaken on alternatives and possible solutions. Next year, initial implementation — based on an established plan — will begin.

More info: http://it.usaspending.gov/.

As administration officials realize that the performance, productivity and efficiency are lagging far behind the private sector in terms of information technology, U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra says he wants to close the gap.

Fragmentation, poor project execution, and the drag of legacy technology have supposedly prevented the federal government from realizing the productivity and performance gains that are found when IT is deployed effectively in the private sector. The administration plans to streamline operations, transform customer service, and maximize the return on investment from information technology.

“Governments in the United States and around the world have made tremendous progress in the area of applying information technology to improve efficiency,” says Bruce Mehlman, Executive Director of the independent Technology CEO Council.

The feds plan to spend $79.4 billion on information technology in 2011, a 1.2 percent increase over 2010.

Identifying ways to achieve greater efficiencies in the areas of most rapid cost growth in the past — like developing new mission-oriented systems and infrastructure — is an important part of the administration’s IT strategy. The strategy to control IT spending will also focus on reversing the growth in the number of agency data centers, which increased over 150 percent from 432 in 1998 to 1,100 in 2009.

Adopting a cloud computing model is a major part of the strategy. After evaluation in 2010, agencies will deploy cloud computing solutions across the broad expanse of the federal government to improve the delivery of IT services. An online storefront is planned to enable subscribers to access lightweight collaboration tools, software, and platform and infrastructure service offerings in a cloud environment. Security will be the highest priority when executing future cloud computing plans.

Today, in the federal government, it is difficult just to locate a person in another agency, much less find people with common interests and problems and leverage IT to work collaboratively. So the administration is also looking for a technology platform that enables effective collaboration across agencies, across distances, and across governmental boundaries.

The rise in social media and Web 2.0 technologies has proven that no single organization has a monopoly on good ideas. A collaboration platform would integrate social media technology with the ability to collaborate across established boundaries. This platform would enable federal employees to locate other employees with common challenges, needed skills, and ideas to solve common problems, communicate and share information, and generate better solutions to problems more efficiently.

This year, an overall evaluation has been undertaken on alternatives and possible solutions. Next year, initial implementation — based on an established plan — will begin.

More info: http://it.usaspending.gov/.

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