Federal CIO’s have been clear that innovation and agility are a top priority in today’s digital and data-driven environment. But in order to embrace innovation, federal IT managers must modernize their IT systems. This week’s Federal News Roundup looks at the pressures federal IT managers are facing and how information sharing, agile spending, and innovative technologies are allowing them to overcome IT modernization challenges.
Information Sharing is Critical to Federal IT Modernization and Innovation
Federal IT managers are feeling the pressure of IT Modernization. Faced with their demands for greater efficiency, effectiveness, and an unrelenting drive for innovation, CIOs and their teams often struggle with how to move forward. Vincent Sritapan, program manager for the cyber security division at Department of Homeland Security (DHS), recently sat down with FedScoop to discuss what he felt needed to be done to spur innovation faster.
The missing piece, according to Sritapan, is sharing best practices. Federal IT managers need to have an open forum or way to share what is working, what is not working, and how their department has overcome particular hurdles, so that peers can learn from one another.
Watch the interview here:
Mobility and Innovation Driven by Application Development Platforms
As federal agencies are grappling with their mobile strategy and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, application development platforms are quickly rising to the top, as a tool that brings cohesiveness and efficiency to mobility. In fact, these platforms are driving the maturity of mobility at the enterprise level, when combined with Business Process Management (BPM) software. Together, agencies are able to embrace innovation by allowing for greater collaboration, in-house app development, and more flexible work environments.
Agile Contracting is on the Rise in Pursuit of IT Modernization
Federal agencies are jumping on the agility bandwagon and inquiring minds want to know if this is a good thing.
The Department of Homeland Security is largely responsible for the changes, following the success that Mark Schwartz and the team at USCIS had in using this approach in 2015. As of this month the Department of Homeland Security currently has multiple award contracts called FLASH – Flexible Agile Support for the Homeland – for agile design and support services. The Transportation Security Administration has contracts that will provide flexible agile services for application integration, customization, and development projects across the agency. General Services Administration’s 18F also has multiple government-wide awards in the works for agile services. And these are just the tip of the iceberg. According to this article in Federal News Radio, EPA and the Department of Labor are among agencies seeking agile services for IT modernization.
As Jason Miller noted it is important to note that agencies have accepted “the iterative development process after years of…being stuck in the waterfall only mindset. That’s a good thing and a change that has been a long-time in coming.”
Finding the Balance between Maintenance and Innovation
Most complex organizations spend 80 percent of their time maintaining systems and only about 20 percent of time innovating. While this breakdown is accurate, it goes against federal government’s push for agile, flexible, and innovative IT solutions. What if your IT team could flip these percentages and create a better balance between innovation and maintenance? It is possible. Find out more here.