It’s easy to take all the comforts of our modern lives for granted. Cars are basically parking themselves these days, and Wi-Fi on airplanes allows us to watch our favorite shows as we zip across the country in a matter of hours. Mobile devices can talk to and interact with us like humans – not to mention letting us securely accomplish our work from anywhere and at any time.

We sometimes forget that things haven’t always been this way. December 17 marks the 10-year anniversary of the E-Government Act of 2002 – America’s first step toward a modernized and accessible IT infrastructure.

This piece was originally featured on the Telework Exchange’s Mobility Matters blog.

Looking back at the federal government’s IT transformation efforts, many questions arise – how much have we accomplished toward our original goals? What has changed in terms of innovation priorities? Have we made good on the promise to improve citizen service delivery? And most importantly, what is the transformation agenda for the next 10 years?

Technology that we take for granted in 2012 – like websites giving citizens easy access to federal information and services – hasn’t always been so available. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report in September examining agencies’ progress in meeting the E-Government Act’s requirements. GAO determined that despite some shortcomings, agencies have largely succeeded in meeting the Act’s requirements for using the Internet and other technologies to improve government accountability and transparency.

While federal agencies have made unprecedented strides toward change, we undoubtedly have challenges and obstacles to continued improvement. Looking forward, cloud computing BYOD, telework, and virtualization will all play key roles in elevating our government to the next level of operational efficiency and accessibility. As we discussed in June, the Office of Management and Budget’s new digital government strategy outlines renewed goals for mobile government workforce access to data and services – anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

At this time of year, we are reminded to really reflect on the many things we have to be thankful for. The innovations that allow us to improve citizen services and the technologies that enable us to do more with less certainly make my list.

About the author: Tom Simmons is the Area Vice President of Public Sector for Citrix Systems. He can be reached at