Center Blog

5 Ways Tech Can Enable A New Administration’s Policy Objectives


July 13, 2016

Stuart Gamper, Strategic Advisor, Center for Presidential Transition



How will the next administration tackle the challenges looming in the federal technology landscape? Technology might not be a top policy priority, but it is definitely a top policy enabler or, if not addressed, a top disabler. It will be necessary for the next president to deliver not only key policy priorities, but also to continue to deliver programs to the American public in a safe, effective and efficient manner.

Across government, technology is driving mission delivery and improved performance and efficiency, whether it’s the upcoming fully-mobile 2016 Census or the failure and then resurgence of Healthcare.gov.

Embracing technology to enact key policies and deliver on programmatic missions will be critical for the next administration to connect with and serve citizens while managing risks (cyber) and costs to the American taxpayer. Here are five federal technology focus areas for the next administration:

  1. Prioritize integration of cybersecurity and risk management—Cybersecurity is a top risk in the federal landscape and must be prioritized accordingly. Build security into the design and implementation of key policies and programs from the outset.
  2. Free up funds and improve program productivity and gain efficiency with modernized systems and shared services—In today’s budget environment, system modernization and shared services are transformative initiatives that can yield cost-effective and high-performing systems:
    • a. Modernize legacy IT—Seventy five percent of today’s federal IT budget is spent on operation and maintenance of legacy systems. Modernizing our systems improves performance and security while freeing up funds for more efficient investments.
    • b. Move to shared services—Embracing shared services can improve service delivery to citizens while driving efficiency gains and a reduction of errors and redundancies.
  3. Engage with citizens through digital services—Meet the increasing expectations of citizens for anytime, anywhere experiences, services and information—designed from a user centered perspective.
  4. Tackle workforce challenges—Action must be taken to support today’s federal IT workforce. Agencies are understaffed, possesses a lack of critical IT skills and must deal with a majority of employees facing retirement age.
  5. Seat technology at the decision-making table—Ensure technology practitioners and leadership are seated at the decision-making table and integrated into agency governance processes.

The Partnership’s Technology in Transition initiative, in collaboration with Accenture, will highlight the mission-critical role that technology plays across the federal environment and highlight critical technology priorities that must continue into the next administration. As part of this collaboration, political and career executives from across government who have leveraged technology to successfully deliver on mission and policy objectives have come together to share the above insights and advice on what transition leaders should plan for and manage. We have interviewed more than 20 current and former IT leaders across and outside of government, and look forward to sharing their insights on the criticality of technology in their—and their organizations’—success.

 


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