Uncle Sam Needs Better IT

This interview is part of a new DorobekINSIDER mini series with experts looking to help shape a management platform for the new administration. Check out all of the stories in the new series, Good Government Management, here.

Unfortunately, the United States is no longer the top innovator in the world. In fact, according to a recent report, Contributors and Detractors: Ranking Countries’ Impact on Global Innovation, put out by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, the United States only ranks 10th overall. The report pointed out that the ranking stemmed from “policies that do little to detract from global innovation yet fall short of those of other nations when it comes to contributing to global innovation.” In lieu of this shortcoming, a team of Tech Iconoclasts has come together to bring the U.S. back on top.

Alan Balutis, Senior Director and Distinguished Fellow of the U.S. Public Sector for Cisco, sat down with Christopher Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program to discuss the push for better IT policies in the next administration.

“There is no democratic or republican way to invest in information technology,” Balutis said. But, there are better ways in which the next administration should invest in information technology.

The Tech Iconoclasts will not stand for the status quo around the U.S’ current IT stance and, therefore, have voiced their opinions in the form of a paper titled Tech Iconoclasts-Voting For America’s Success in a Network World. Here are some of the topic areas the report covered:

  • Advancing America’s Competitiveness: The report shared that since 2011, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted more than half of their patents to overseas companies. Furthermore, between 40 and 90 percent of patents issued are never used by their owners. One of the major areas this section covered was the need to change the current patent laws. The team suggested that patents have an expiration date, after five years, if said patent still has not been productized by then.
  • Rebuilding Trust in Government Institutions: “Really none of the candidates have said much about how they plan to govern, how they would manage over four million employees, and how they would stop the downward spiral in both the trust in government and satisfaction with government services,” Balutis stated. He furthered that the need for change is desired and may be why candidates such as Trump and Sanders are attracting large numbers. “They’re putting forth sweeping, bold ideas and voters seem to be responding to that.”
  • Reinventing Government Technology: This section focused on improving the current system around federal IT funding. For example, the Tech Iconoclasts suggested cutting the amount of federal spending that goes into maintaining legacy systems. Instead, they would like to see more funding allocated to initiatives focused on “making systems customer-centric,” Balutis pointed out.
  • Evolving the Workforce: A large portion of this section focused on investing in new forms of education that stay abreast with technological change. One recommendation pushed for more engagement with industry by allowing industry to assist in developing a curriculum that furthers the necessary skills for future STEM positions-early on.

Balutis hopes to hear how the current presidential candidates will “improve both the efficiency and the effectiveness of the hundred plus billion that we spend each year on information technology and how they plan to use IT to transform the way we deliver services, such as healthcare, transportation, and education in the United States.”

To read a previous blog post about the necessity for the next president to embrace IT, please click here.

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MatyAnn Turner

Interesting comments about what our Government needs to grow aggressively! Information technology! I was a RN, however, I will research how I can learn and work with Information Technology ! I want to work at a job that may contribute to this country ? I am just a dot on the map, however, I did not realize the impact of this concept that would make a difference ! I will apply for grants and other ways to return to school for an issue that I would know matters to the larger perspective ! I have a BSN MS and will have more understanding in studying Information Technology ! Oh , this is not an education only for men to undertake?’! I love learning and this will be a tough road that I can feel will be worth it! Thank you!