Charting the future of Tech — with Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel

Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel kicked off the FOSE conference. He did a pretty amazing presentation, going through the history of technology.

He actually pulled out an overhead projectors — yes, really. Apparently they found one in a White House closet.

Then he used ASCII. Then PowerPoint. And then an iPad… to show the evolution of tech.

VanRoekel says the aim of his office is to cut down the amount of money agencies spend on technology operations and maintenance so that they can put that money back into new initiatives.

Where do you think VanRoekel’s priorities should be?

Charting the future of Tech — with Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel by GovLoop Insights

Since 2009 the federal tech budget has flattened out to roughly $80 billion. VanRoekel says agencies need to innovate without expanding their budgets. He outlined 4 simple things agencies can do to achieve that goal.

  1. Root out duplication and implement Share First
  2. Strengthen the role of the CIO
  3. Data center consolidation — the goal is to go down by 40%
  4. Cloud — implement FedRamp across government this year

VanRoekel says agencies also need to focus on the mission: Service Delivery

  1. Maximize investments — growing profit is easier than growing costs
  2. Address the productivity gap
  3. Improve business and citizen interactions
  4. Cybersecurity needs to be incorporated into everything

Government cannot work in a silo. VanRoekel compared the data overload to the music industry saying:

  • “Right now government couples data and presentations together. But they need to break it up and find relatedness across platforms. Think of government data like the music industry. You used to buy a whole album from the store. Now you go on iTunes and you can buy one song at a time, not the whole package.”
  • “And with iTunes Genius and Pandora similar content is sent directly to you. Government needs to do that with data.”

Where do you think VanRoekel’s priorities should be?

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