CIO Council

In a follow up report to the Digital Government Strategy, the Federal CIO Council conducted a survey and interviewed 21 agencies on their use of mobile technologies. The “Report on Barriers, Gaps, and Opportunities for Government Use of Mobile Technology” addresses Milestone Action 10.2 of the Digital Government Strategy which aims to “evaluate opportunities to accelerate the secure adoption of mobile technologies into the Federal environment at reduced cost.”

The results offer insight into three key considerations for the use of mobile technologies: opportunities and barriers; gaps; and risks, threats, and vulnerabilities. Keep reading →

A top procurement official at the General Services Administration has posted a set of priorities on a GSA website that will guide the agency’s technology services arm as it plans out future procurement strategies.

Kevin Youel, acting assistant commissioner of GSA’s Integrated Technology Service (ITS), said that the principles emerged during a recent discussion with federal chief information and acquisition officers, along with agency deputies throughout the federal government.

The discussion, the agency’s second stakeholder roundtable, focused primarily on setting priorities for GSA’s next generation of network services portfolio and related procurement offerings.

“The discussion gave us guiding principles for the Network Services 2020 (NS2020) Strategy,” said Youel in a blog posted this week. But some of the principles “apply beyond IT, to any government acquisition,” he said.

Youel said GSA shared findings from GSA’s top-down review of previous and current telecommunications contracts, including FTS2001 and Networx, based on meetings with more than 100 stakeholders, and after reviewing market trends and other data analysis.

“Our past outreach shows that GSA needs to match portfolio structure to agency buying patterns,” he said. It also needs to be aligned as well as to industry market segments, he said.

While agencies “value the more than $700 million in savings achieved by Networx in FY12,” he said, GSA “must continue to achieve greater savings through strategic sourcing to keep us in line with the September 20 GAO report that concludes government should do more strategic sourcing.”

Youel summarized the top five principles that emerged from the discussions, which according to his blog post, called for:

1. Deeper government partnerships. Agencies want a spectrum of offerings ranging from complete solutions and managed services to commodity building blocks, with which to build their own solutions. They see value in GSA providing a portfolio of services based upon affinity clusters of services. Contract options brought to the table by other agencies also may be part of the mix.

2. Government and industry success. The more government makes our buys look like big corporate buys, the better we can tie into the market and existing industry capability. This means agency commitment, aggregated common requirements, and price visibility. There are benefits to aligning our portfolio with how industry works, and we need industry to weigh in and work with GSA to achieve this compatibility. Aligning offerings with industry practice and good industry partner communications will reduce transaction costs and benefit all. We discussed how to make incentives, instead of penalties, tied to contractor success, which could improve service to users and build upon the win-win.

3. Expand scope and delivery methods. We discussed the need and value of acquisition and operational efficiency. In developing this portfolio, GSA and agencies are looking broadly at how we aggregate requirements. A framework to weave related services and elements in an efficient way might include Software as a Service (SaaS), mobile applications, and other options. Some agencies are looking for turn-key solutions that offer hands-off management. Agencies are also looking for aggregated service and lower infrastructure costs through identifying common needs.

4. Continue commitment to innovation. We must continue to offer options to support continuous and convenient access to industry partner innovations. Looking at how we refresh technology and pricing could give us steady improvements with fewer heavy lifts. Many times, we can add innovation without developing new acquisitions.

5. Increase transition support and more. GSA can provide tailored customer support throughout the acquisition life cycle, including assistance with acquisition, fair opportunity, and transition processes. The systems and processes we have in place for consolidated and centralized billing have provided operational efficiencies. Enhancing these systems will further drive down government and industry operating costs.

“Our current program provides more than $1.8 billion of networking services to federal agencies,” he concluded. “We continue to enhance our existing portfolio as we plan for the future. An NS2020 Interagency Advisory Panel will guide the strategy work for NS2020 and bring the strategy to the Federal CIO Council, he said.

Keep reading →

The Federal Chief Information Council today released a new version of its website, involving what it described as a complete overhaul under the hood. The new site, however, is still in need of tweaking.

In a notice posted to the site, viewers were informed: Keep reading →

To mark the June 9, 2012, completion milestone for Federal IT reform, I am pleased to highlight several DHS initiatives. Our focus includes shifting to a cloud-first policy, establishing strong governance of the Department’s IT investments, and the implementation of TechStats.
This article originally appeared as a blog post on the Federal CIO Council’s website. For more news and insights on innovations at work in government, please sign up for the AOL Gov newsletter. For the quickest updates, follow us on Twitter @AOLgov.
DHS is establishing a strong foundation for cloud computing services, shifting to a cloud model that will allow Components to quickly acquire services for their business and mission needs. DHS currently has 12 cloud services available to its customers. Nine are provided in the DHS Private Cloud:

  • Authentication as a Service (AUTHaaS)
  • Business Intelligence as a Service (BIaaS)
  • Case and Relationship Management as a Service (CRMaaS)
  • Development and Test as a Service (DTaaS)
  • Email as a Service (EaaS)
  • Production as a Service (PRDaaS)
  • Project Server as a Service (PSaaS)
  • SharePoint as a Service (SPTaaS)
  • Workplace as a Service (WPaaS)

Three are provided in the DHS Public Cloud: Keep reading →

Don’t wait around for the next wave in technology. Cloud computing is here to stay. You’ll have to deal with it sooner or later.

That was the message from IT managers attending annual FOSE conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday from a panel of top federal CIOs. Keep reading →

Christopher L. Smith
, who is retires next month as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief information officer is taking up new duties as U.S. federal chief technology and innovation officer for Accenture Federal Services, officials at Accenture announced today.

Smith will assume the new position on April 9, following his April 7 retirement from USDA, where he served as CIO since 2009. Keep reading →

As technologists in the private sector know, when money is tight, it’s often technology that enables us to do more with less. In a lean fiscal environment, organizations look for ways to take existing resources and use the latest advances and tools to do the seemingly impossible: improve and expand services while cutting costs. It is no different with the Federal Government. To deliver on the President’s commitment to an effective and efficient government, we are leveraging the latest advances in technology to save taxpayer dollars and cut waste. We are working aggressively to meet the challenge of doing more with less, and we are seeing real results.
This article was originally published as a blog post Dec. 8 on the White House website.
By holding underperforming IT projects accountable, we are identifying efficiencies and eliminating waste to deliver better technology solutions sooner, and at a lower cost. This year we took our rigorous Techstat accountability sessions and open sourced the model, giving agencies the tools to turnaround or terminate failing projects at the agency-level. As a result agencies identified nearly $1 billion in efficiencies, bringing the grand total of Techstat efficiencies to $4 billion in less than two years. You can read more about that in the TechStat Report published today.

Having the right people matters too. In order to ensure we have the experienced and talented managers we need to oversee these large, complex IT investments and maximize the return on taxpayer dollars at every step in the process, we created a new role for IT program managers with more rigorous requirements. We also launched the Presidential Technology Fellows Program this fall to attract new talent to the federal IT workforce by reducing barriers to entry for talented young IT professionals. Keep reading →

This article is adapted from a blog post on, the website of the U.S. chief information officer and the Federal CIO Councils. Nitin Pradhan is CIO of the Department of Transportation.

President Obama unveiled the National Open Government Action Plan today to highlight the Administration’s commitment to open government. The Status Report is currently available on the White House Open Government Initiative blog and reports on the progress made towards transparency, participation, and collaboration with the public over the past two-and-a-half years. Keep reading →

This article originally appeared on, the website of the U.S. chief information officer and the Federal CIO Council. Richard Spires is CIO of the Department of Homeland Security and vice chair of the Federal CIO Council.

I had the privilege to attend and speak at 2011 National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) National Training Event (at the end of last month) on behalf of the Executive Steering Council and other strategic partners who steward the program. The two-day NTE was both educational and inspiring-undoubtedly the NIEM community is really something special to be a part of. Keep reading →

The role of federal chief information officers is about to shift, according to the government’s new top CIO, Steven VanRoekel, who was named last week to succeed outgoing CIO, Vivek Kundra.

In a White House blog post published last night, VanRoekel highlighted four new areas of focus for federal CIOs: Governance, Commodity IT, Program Management, and Information Security. Keep reading →

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