Today’s federal contracting officers are shackled by legacy acquisition systems. Outdated technology forces them to spend copious amounts of time on administrative tasks, rather than being knowledge workers who are able to think creatively about getting the best outcomes from each acquisition, according to Chris O’Connell, Appian’s Vice President of Public Sector Sales.
In a recent interview with Federal Technology Insider, O’Connell said that legacy acquisition systems can’t meet the most basic of needs of today’s contracting teams. Not only are they old and require too much coding, but most cannot handle today’s requirement for end-to-end traceability in a multi-platform traceability.
Addressing these issues was the intent behind the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA). FITARA is designed to give CIOs an agency-wide view of acquisition, implementation, and usage, so that they can make data-driven decisions about future acquisition, budgeting, and spend, rather than relying on habit, estimation, and assumption. O’Connell says there are great programs fostering system agility and enabling agency adaptation to FITARA requirements. Specifically, he mentioned the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Integrated Defense Enterprise Acquisition System (IDEAS), which is a cloud-based, mobile-enabled, agile platform through which DISA delivers new capabilities out to contract officers every 4-5 weeks.
“In previous versions, it would take as much as six months to add new data into systems,” he said. “Now it takes days and weeks, instead of months and years.”
To learn more about the agencies that have embraced 21st Century acquisition tools as a service you can listen to our podcast with Chris O’Connell below.