Government Technology Insider curates news about a variety of topics related to the IT challenges facing government agencies. In this roundup on IT modernization, we learn about the federal government’s push for IT Modernization Centers of Excellence and that Deputy Federal CIO Margie Graves believes it is time for agencies to update IT budget policies with the Technology Business Management (TBM) framework. Other news includes an insider’s look at the USDA IT Modernization Center of Excellence and helpful tips for managing security risk while driving IT modernization. Read the news here:
Modernization Nation: eBook Looks At Updating The Federal Government’s Technology And Operations.
Federal agencies spend four times more money on keeping sometimes ancient IT systems afloat than they spend investing in new technologies. That coincides with the government’s poor record in providing the kinds of customer experiences citizens have become accustomed to in the commercial world. The Trump administration launched the IT Modernization Centers of Excellence to create reusable best practices for modernizing tech and serve delivery across civilian government agencies and is piloting the effort at the Agriculture Department. Meanwhile, the Defense Department and intelligence agencies, including the CIA and National Security Agency, continue to lead impressive IT modernization efforts of their own. Cloud has become synonymous with IT modernization in the national security space, a far cry from even five years ago, when disparate databases were the default for intelligence agencies. The push to modernize the government’s IT systems, across all its branches, is ramping up. Find out how policymakers have set the tone for IT modernization and how agencies are attempting to meet them in this NextGov eBook.
To Drive Modernization, CIOs Urge Adoption Of Technology Business Management Practices
Agencies have been leveraging the Capital Planning and Investment Control, or CPIC, process to track IT spending since it became law as part of the Clinger-Cohen Act in 1996. However, if IT budget policies were fashion trends, then the federal government would still be sporting the snap bracelets of the 1990s. But Deputy Federal CIO Margie Graves said Wednesday that it’s time for agency executives to start updating those processes with the Technology Business Management (TBM) framework. Graves and other federal leaders think they have found that more appropriate plan in TBM, which is a taxonomy designed to help enterprise leaders track IT spending and discern where savings and value can be found. But incorporating TBM governmentwide and merging it with established practices won’t be easy because it requires collaboration across traditionally stove-piped offices like those of the CIO and CFO. And, beyond being a best practice, TBM is a lynchpin for the President’s Management Agenda. The PMA has set a target for governmentwide adoption of TBM by fiscal 2022. Read more about TBM here.
An Exclusive Look Inside The USDA IT Modernization Centers Of Excellence
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) IT shop occupies offices along a west-leading corridor on the fourth floor of the Jamie L. Whitten Building in Washington, D.C. Soon it will be home to the home of the USDA IT Modernization Center of Excellence. A “center of excellence” is an evocative concept. It promises the melding of expertise — private sector with public sector, insider with outsider — for the benefit of “best practices.” It promises “innovation” and the impetus to try new things. It even implies that there’s a certain audacious outcome to be expected — “excellence,” whatever that might mean. And yet despite the fantastic branding, “center of excellence” is also a vague concept. The term can be used to describe teams that do many kinds of work, but FedScoop’s questions were even more foundational. What is an IT Modernization Center of Excellence? What does it look like? Does it occupy a physical space, or is it more of a concept? Who works there? How do they work? Find out by reading the FedScoop article here.
Four Steps To Managing Risk While Driving IT Modernization
IT modernization projects help federal agencies deploy more advanced technologies to enhance efficiency and provide a greater depth of capability. These advancements often provide greater opportunity to leverage automation and allow for stronger IT controls to protect critical assets. That said, technology upgrades also can create security challenges. In the 2017 SolarWinds Federal Cybersecurity Survey, federal respondents cited three increases in IT security challenges as a result of modernization:
- More vulnerabilities in new technology stacks (cited by 53%)
- Burden of supporting new technologies and legacy systems (cited by 51%)
- Lack of training on new technologies (cited by 50%)
All in all, the survey revealed that 66% of respondents — a full two-thirds — think federal agencies’ efforts regarding network modernization has resulted in an increase in IT security challenges.
However, not modernizing is not an option; that’s understood. Security holes can be far greater in older technologies. So, what’s a federal IT pro to do? Read the advice here.