Cloud computing, edge computing, 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning are all dramatically transforming the public sector and reshaping the way federal agencies will operate and deliver on their missions. With $1 billion in new funding and $650 million dedicated to cybersecurity, the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) continues to spur federal IT modernization. The digital transformation taking place over the next ten years will be so great that 85 percent of jobs that will be available in 2030 haven’t been invented yet.
Cameron Chehreh, chief technology officer for Dell Technologies Federal, said that “with everything becoming networked and producing information, our natural curiosity to find insights into data grows. This further drives our desire for consumption of data and the analytics that follow. This cycle is speeding up the more technology becomes embedded in our lives.” Already, federal agencies are showcasing the outcomes of these advancements. For example, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is using TMF to survey disasters and understand safety for first responders. Another example is the U.S. Cyber Command’s use of AI as a force multiplier for cyber functions. And the Department of Defense’s effort in piloting a 5G program that will explore ways to support augmented, virtual reality training, and smart warehousing.
While innovation is moving swiftly, Chehreh commented that policy will need to catch up and budgets will need to grow. TMF’s new funding will help federal agencies jumpstart IT modernization projects. Furthermore, agencies will need to educate – and possibly reskill – workers in the new technology to have their understanding become an asset.
To overcome these obstacles, Chehreh recommends, “small, but high impact projects that
allow the government to fail fast, but succeed faster. It is important to learn rapidly from failures and from others experiences and drive success quickly. We have found that adopting an agile methodology, picking small quick win projects and iterating is the key to success.” These quick wins will allow for greater and faster modernization within federal agencies.
Digital transformation in the public sector is on the cusp of a period of unparalleled transformation. The pace of innovation will only continue. It is essential for federal agencies to continue educating workers and preparing for the future. New technology is the key to achieving mission success both now and in the future.
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