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GovTech Trends: Insights for GovCon Executives [October 2015]

We understand the importance of remaining up-to-date with the latest Government IT news for government executives. Here are some key highlights:

Defense Department Urges IT Leaders To Do More
According to a recent article published by FedScoop, Department of Defense leaders are searching for more innovative and integrated IT solutions. DOD’s top IT leader, CIO Terry Halvorsen recently spoke at a military technology forum asking leaders in the technology industry to help the U.S. “flip the economics of cybersecurity.” Halvorsen discussed the time and money spent on fixing cyber attacks.

“The truth is, you can spend a little bit of money and a little time, and cause us to spend a lot of money and a lot of time to fix [cyber attacks]. The issue is, how do we flip that, so we’re on the winning side of economics,” he said.

Halvorsen wants IT leaders to get busy and provide automated tools to prevent cyber attacks, as opposed to preventing the attacks with limited manpower.

Maturity Model Avoids Check-The-Box Policy
Government reforms are often presented in a check-the-box format (i.e. if you do X, Y and Z then you’re in compliance with the intentions of the directive or policy). A team from the American Council for Technology (ACT) and Industry Advisory Council (IAC) has created an IT Management Maturity Model for agencies to assess their processes against the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) and basic ‘best practices’ for IT governance. (Federal Times) Office of Management and Budget collaborated with the ACT-IAC group and the plans are based on OMB’s guidance. There are three levels to the Maturity Model:

• Basic capabilities
• Evolving in maturity
• Demonstrating maturity

Each level is evaluated by five key metrics:

• Governance
• Budget
• Acquisition
• Program Management
• Workforce

New IT Contractors Coming Right Up
The General Services Administration wants to eliminate the two-year experience requirement for IT contractors to make it easier for contractors to sell technology to the government. If the requirement is removed, “sources that otherwise have the capacity and capability to accomplish a given requirement” will have access to the federal market. (NextGov)

In place of the two-year requirement, GSA wants to ask potential vendors to submit a narrative description about their relevant experience and transparent documents regarding their financial responsibility. GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth wrote, “By making it easier for suppliers to work with us, we will offer government as a whole better access to innovative companies, enhanced technology solutions and a wider range of contracting options.”

Census Meets Tech in 2020
The Census is planning to upgrade its approach by eliminating pen and paper and moving to mobile devices. While that helps the field workers, there’s also something in store for the participants. Don’t fret if you do not receive a survey in the mail because the Census is also considering an online option for Americans to access instead. Making this transition could allow the Census to save as much as $5 billion.

To read more on each update: