The White House Forum On IT Management Reform

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra hosted a 9 December 2010 meeting of the White House Forum on IT Management Reform. The strategy unveiled at this event will have a direct impact on federal technologists, of course. However, Information Technology professionals from any large enterprise will want to track the initiatives of this activity, as they provide relevant, action-oriented approaches.  

Students of IT and its governance will see what a good strategy looks like. Integrators of technology and vendors who serve federal users will learn a bit more about how the federal customer will be shifting in the future and how you can better position to help. And if you are an enterprise technologist you will learn of some very important things under way that will make your life easier and more productive.

You can view the plan online at the CIO.gov website.  The document is at: 25-Point-Implementation-Plan-to-Reform-Federal IT 

The following provides some perspectives on this activity from the view of a former enterprise technologist: 

  • There is a plan, and it is a good one. But there is something here more important than a plan. There is leadership. And it is not just the leadership of one or two folks. There is a strong team of technology leaders committed to making positive, enduring change.
  • The plan has been well staffed/coordinated and thought through. The plan has 25 objectives, organised into six categories.
  • There is a serious, focused, driven effort in the plan to find the right balance between too many federal data centres and not enough data centres. Expect at least 800 federal data centres to be consolidated by 2015. For Federal users that need data centre capabilities, expect to see an online market/reservation system that lets users find available data centres space.
  • “Cloud First” is a policy. To help move in that direction, agencies are being tasked with finding programs and services to move to cloud. Federal agency CIOs will identify three “must move” services each right away (in under 90 days) and fully migrate at least one in the next 12 months and the remaining two in 18 months.
  • The GSA and the Federal CIO are working on tasks to stand-p contract vehicles for commodity services and for sharing services.
  • The federal government will treat program management like a discipline! This is great, welcome news. Formal IT program management career paths will be established.
  • The federal government is launching a technology fellows program! The Federal CIO will partner directly with universities to tap into the talent pool and build a more sustainable pipeline of talent. The tech fellows program aims to help cut through bureaucratic barriers associated with public service.
  • Many objectives have to do with enhancing the ability of the government to coordinate and collaborate internally, and many deal with enhancing the ability to coordinate and collaborate with industry. A special “myth-busting” effort seeks to help reduce some of the myths that run rampant in the federal space regarding what can and cannot be done.

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