Riddle me this:
How does a small independent federal agency like EEOC — facing a 15% IT budget cut — successfully negotiate a 30% cost savings with telecom giant Verizon for continued Blackberry use agency-wide?
Moreover, can your agency emulate this example?
Federal Times tells the story of an IT cost savings lesson learned in a federal government climate of drastic budget cuts:
EEOC’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) Kimberly Hancher says, “I did a full disclosure on how bad the situation was, and I offerred alternatives. With the shortfall of over $2 million, we’ve had to take a number of steps.”
While a $2 million IT budget deficit may appear to be so-called ‘chump change’ for larger agencies and their subcomponents — not to mention Corporate America — these cost savings represent a significant percentage of EEOC’s IT budget. Further, this is a worthy cost savings for taxpayers, many of whom reportedly don’t think very highly of the Feds these days in the wake of widespread media coverage of alleged spending and ethical scandals.
What about other EEOC IT vendors and HELP DESK services, how were they affected by the budget situation?
EEOC’s Hancher says: “We have just a few support IT service contracts, and with each of those venders we said full disclosure…We’ve got budget problems; we want to do what’s right. We want to do what will affect the users the least, and we want to be smart about our reductions…All of our vendors have been so understanding.”
Federal Times editorial:
A Fed Times editorial offers praise of EEOC IT Chief Kimberly Hancher:
“In the midst of a contract option year, she challenged Verizon to lower its costs, or risk seeing EEOC take its business elsewhere…Verizon kept the business, but not before EEOC garnered $240,000 in savings, a 30 percent reduction.”
TAKE AWAY: This is a big lesson in IT cost savings from an under-the-radar small agency (EEOC). It’s one important example of how the Feds actually are belt-tightening, trying to do more with less — or at least sustain progress made — by cutting costs and saving taxpayer dollars despite what the mainstream media and Fed detractors say.
FINAL QUESTION: Can Cabinet Departments, mid- to small-level agencies and/or large agency subcomponents offer up similar examples of IT cost savings in these times of fiscal austerity???
Let’s hope so.
*** NOTE: All views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author only.