As occurs each year, the President’s Budget Proposal includes a Chapter on IT spending – it’s in the “Analytical Perspectives” document, Chapter 20. This chapter highlights key current and forthcoming priorities, and represents the IT spending report required under the Clinger Cohen Act.
The IT Chapter marks major areas of emphasis that agencies, contractors, and citizens should look to in aligning their activities to resources in the coming year. Interestingly, because it is both a report on current spending and a budget plan, it is one of the areas in the Budget that points to immediate actions being taken by OMB, under the leadership of Director Jacob Lew and Federal CIO Vivek Kundra. As such, it helps put a context around the recent 25-point IT Reform Plan that is guiding this year’s activities for OMB and CIOs. Major focus areas include:
- Slowing topline growth.
- Data Center Consolidation.
- Security and privacy
- Open Government.
More recently, Federal CIO Kundra appeared at a panel (with DHS CIO Richard Spires and VA CIO Roger Baker) and asked a simple question: if Federal employees can use cars from a rental company or stay in hotels operated by commercial providers, could a similar set of rules apply to the secure use of commercial IT assets? In a world where mobility reigns supreme and cloud — and broadband — allows connection to large amounts of data and computing power from virtually anywhere (pun intended), this could bring a paradigm shift to how the government acquires and uses technology assets.
Image: Detail from Chart 20-1. Totals for Federal IT Spending and Data Center Growth, from the OMB 2012 Budget (p. 345)