CIOs should think in terms of services, not just IT, Clare Martorana says

The White House. (Diego Cambiaso / Flickr)

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Federal CIO Clare Martorana wants CIOs across government to think about the services they provide to citizens, not just the IT systems they administer.

Writing in a White House blog post Thursday, the federal technology leader outlined priorities for the Biden administration and her expectations for how CIOs should approach the modernization of federal networks. She has previously stressed the need to be product- and service-oriented, saying that adopting cloud and other modern technologies are needed steps to improve agencies’ delivery on mission.

“As Federal CIO, I’m empowering Chief Information Officers across government to place our customers – our citizens – at the center of everything we do,” she wrote Thursday. “This means we must understand what our customers need so we can adjust our delivery methods to improve our service. It also requires us to organize around users and services instead of information systems.”

Her post also noted recent funding made available to agencies through the Technology Modernization Fund. It follows news this morning that the fund will distribute $311 million for seven new agency IT modernization projects.

Cybersecurity and the move to zero-trust architecture remain key priorities of the Biden administration, according to Martorana.

“Our Zero Trust strategy will ensure every agency is adopting cybersecurity principles that consider every person, device, and network inside of an organization as untrusted and even potentially compromised,” she wrote. “This strategy will make it harder for even sophisticated actors to compromise an organization.”

Martorana also stressed that federal IT shops across the government are expected to hire a diverse workforce. She said it’s critical to have a broad workforce to ensure biases are not introduced into the systems that support government services.

“The Biden Administration believes a diverse IT workforce is essential,” she wrote.

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CIO, Clare Martorana, Federal CIO, IT Modernization, TMF
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