Donald Trump didn’t reveal much of a stance on tech and federal IT policy in his campaign to become the 45th president of the United States, but many industry groups are holding out optimism that his bullish demeanor and discontent with the status quo could translate into progress in how federal agencies buy, build and protect their IT systems.
“One of Trump’s big themes has been that America can do better,” Daniel Castro, vice president of the Information Technology and Information Foundation, said in a statement emailed to FedScoop. “Hopefully he’ll bring that attitude towards federal IT which still has a long way to go.”
Trump’s “platform of change, promising to scrutinize the way the Government works, and streamline and reduce the size of government” matched well with many of the reformation goals of the federal IT community, said Mark MacCarthy, senior vice president of public policy for the Software and Information Industry Association. “Federal IT modernization, and streamlined procurement of IT services, particularly innovative cloud solutions, is a critical component of the Government’s mission, so we are optimistic that this will be a high priority in the Trump Administration.”
“We are also optimistic that President Trump will continue the long-standing priority to pursue a ‘buy, not build,’ or COTS-first approach across the federal government,” MacCarthy said.
For the most part, though, given Trump “is still somewhat of an enigma” on IT policy, as Castro said, many groups simply expresses their eagerness to welcome and work with Trump.
“The tech sector is committed to working with President-elect Trump to help translate that truth into action that improves our lives and helps address some of society’s most pressing problems,” said Dean Garfield, president and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council. “We stand ready to work with President-elect Trump and the new Congress to find the constructive, bipartisan approach to problem solving that people want to see from their leaders.”
The Professional Services Council said in a statement that it “welcomes President-elect Donald Trump and his incoming administration” with recommendations, like continuing to grow the successful tech strides made under President Barack Obama, “act quickly to restore comity and a working relationship with Congress,” and promote a healthy collaboration between government and the contracting community
“PSC is ready to work with the new president, administration, and Congress, and our industry looks forward to continuing the successful partnership with our government in our joint desire to serve our country and its citizens,” it said.
Indeed, Consumer Technology Association pointed out that a Republican majority in both houses of Congress “presents an opportunity for Congress to rollback unnecessary rules, tackle high-skilled immigration reform, reduce patent troll extortion, lower corporate taxes and reduce spending.”
But Castro worries that a Trump administration might be “bad news for traditional federal IT contractors if Trump brings in a team who sees these firms as Washington insiders.”
However, he said, “It could be good news for Silicon Valley and the hundreds of tech startups across America who avoid doing business with the federal government because of the complexity and red tape.”