As calendar year 2013 draws to a close, ‘tis the season for compiling lists. BYOD, mobility, and telework would definitely need to be near the top of the list of Federal IT buzzwords. But it is not all buzz. Today we are highlighting the federal CIOs who moved beyond the hype to create programs and lay a path of mobility best practices for peer agencies. Here’s our list of visionary CIOs. Who is missing? Post a comment below and share with us your list of top Federal CIOs.
Steven VanRoekel, U.S. CIO
We can’t really talk about mobility in the federal government without highlighting the work that U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel has done to lay the foundation for federal agencies to take advantage of technology on the go. In January 2012, VanRoekel announced the development of a Federal Mobility Strategy to accelerate the feds’ adoption of mobile technologies and services to improve delivery of government information, engage citizens, reduce costs, and increase workforce productivity.
Even more importantly, VanRoekel sought to close the gap between the disparate mobility efforts in government and share best practices for greater effectiveness.
Kimberly Hancher, CIO, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was one of the first agencies to implement a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) pilo
t program to meet urgent IT budget challenges. As a result, the agency was able to achieve significant savings and enhance employee productivity – all while creating the ideal case study for other agencies to mirror.
FTI had the opportunity to speak with Kimberly Hancher about this effort in an exclusive Q&A that can be read here.
Daniel Tangherlini, Administrator, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
Tangherlini was brought in to run the GSA after the controversy regarding excessive spending at employee conferences. One of his first tasks was to reduce spending and change the culture. “I want [GSA] to be outcome focused, performance based, continually learning and innovative. I would like us to know what we are trying to achieve,” Tangherlini said in a recent interview. And changing the culture was the first step required when taking on the GSA telework initiative, which would save the agency millions of dollars.
Today, GSA’s program is the benchmark for success and other agencies are adopting best practices and implementing similar technology and infrastructure changes to increase efficiencies. After renovating its headquarters, the GSA is embracing mobile and cloud solutions to create an open agency environment, leveraging open floor plans, temporary desks, instant messenger, and shared calendars. And, with limited space, the GSA is mainstreaming telework to save millions of dollars on property costs.
According to Daniel Tangherlini, GSA wants to serve as a model for federal agencies looking to cut costs and enable telecommuting.
Charles De Sanno, Executive Director, Systems Engineering, Department of Veteran Affairs
Recently, Federal Technology Insider had the opportunity to interview Charles De Sanno at the Department of Veterans Affairs. He talked candidly about how the agency is embracing mobility solutions to deliver services to veterans.
De Sanno told us that, while many IT visionaries are embracing mobility, the VA is ahead of the curve. “We believe that VA is actually ahead of this wave within government, where we see the consumer marketplace driving much of this innovation. Our user base expects mobile solutions, which they use in their day-to-day lives. The days of sitting in the ivory tower are gone and IT leadership needs to be touting and embracing disruptive technologies by thinking outside of the box. “
While many agencies are still grappling with how to implement a mobile strategy, De Sanno encourages them to build security into the core of the strategy. This is a lesson learned from the 2006 incident where a VA laptop was stolen. He encourages education for the user community, so that they fully understand the sensitivity of data and abide by the controls and policies put in place. In his interview with FTI, he says that this incident “significantly changed the organization’s culture, concerning the responsibility of the end-users to make the right decision when it comes to security.”
Despite the challenges, the VA continues to push forward with mobility. “Mobile computing is the most exciting thing to happen in IT in the past 25 years. Every aspect of IT can now reside in the hand of the user. If we look at how the Internet changed commerce and how we communicate, and now mobility is changing how we access information. This is ultimately empowering the end user, and the technology will continue to mature in ways that allow for ubiquitous access to information in ways we never imagined,” says De Sanno.
To read our three part series with De Sanno, click here.