Government IT ailments may have cure, report says


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The use of big data and private company outsourcing may pave the way for a smoother future in government IT, according to research released this month.

The report, published by CEB, outlines five key shifts federal IT will need to make for a more successful outlook.

CEB recommends the government promote enterprise-level portfolio management, ready IT to drive employee productivity and transition to true risk management in cybersecurity, among other improvements.

The report also urges the government to make IT a broker and not a builder, meaning using off-the-shelf solutions instead of building custom solutions, according to Kris Van Riper, a managing director at CEB. Historically, government IT contracted teams to build and run a completely new infrastructure. The paper says the government doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel every time.

According to Van Riper, big data can also increase the effectiveness of government IT.

“In the past, people focused on the ‘T’ as in technology and not the ‘I’ as in information,” Van Riper said. The use of big data not only helps keep the IT department efficient with analytics, but the data can improve other parts of the agency as well.

According to the report, government IT is being dogged by sequestration-related budget cuts, slow IT acquisition times and a decentralized acquisition process that fails to leverage enterprisewide purchasing power.

“The procurement process often takes so long that the demands by business partners tend to change, especially with cloud technology,” Van Riper said.

CEB interviewed people within the government IT field as well as government customers in the financial, legal and human resources sectors to come up with the solutions.

A similar report aimed at government and the private sector was released in 2010. CEB released the new report due to pressures, including budget constraints, that were unique to government IT.

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CEB, Kris Van Riper, Tech
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