In a world where technology is always changing, the government hasn’t always been on the same playing field as the private sector. And while the Federal Government realizes how far behind it is when it comes to updating programs and making sure the technology it uses provides adequate protection and security to the American people it does recognize the need for a plan going forward. With this in mind, the Federal Government has set a goal of improving and maintaining current technologies used in all government agencies. This should not only help those working for the government but all American people in general.
Why Government Spending is Focused on IT Services
Information Technology is one of the top industries for government spending. In 2014 the Federal Government spent a total of $81.8 billion in Information Technology alone; in 2015 it spent a total of $84.2 billion, and it is estimated that for 2016, the government plans to spend a total of $86.4 billion. Leaders in the Federal Government realize how important it is to stay current with the advancements of technology and have budgeted $105 million in FY15-FY16to create digital service teams within 25 federal agencies. These teams are dedicated to improving quality and effectiveness of information technology, as well as cost savings.[i]
Over the past few years, the Federal Government has been working towards improving some of its systems and online programs. By working with some of America’s best digital experts - whose roles are to implement cutting-edge technology and digital practices - the government has been making sure its systems are up to date and on par with the private sector. Some programs being worked on include healthcare.gov, the Veteran’s Benefit Management System and improvements to the online visa application system.
The Federal Government’s Core Objectives for IT
When dealing with information technology, the three core objectives for the Federal Government are:
- To drive value in IT investments
- To deliver world-class digital services including open-government data to fuel innovation
- To protect IT assets and information
“The Administration has invested in a portfolio of government-wide efforts to ensure that all agencies have access to the best partners, people and digital practices.”[ii] The goal is not only to provide the American people with better, more reliable and secure services, but to offer agencies technology that will allow them to be able to complete their work, run programs that are up to date, secure, and will protect their information.
Eliminating Wasteful Spending
In 2012, the Federal Government created PortfolioStat to assess agencies’ IT portfolio management processes. PortfolioStat examines each agency’s IT portfolio to attempt to identify duplications and eliminate waste. A PortfolioStat session consists of a face-to-face meeting where an evidenced-based review is conducted, including gathering data regarding commodity IT investments, potential redundancies and investments that don’t appear to align with an agency’s mission or business functions. This process is designed to help implement new IT initiatives, drive efficiency and identify opportunities to consolidate acquisition and management of commodity IT services. In addition, PortfolioStat increases the use of shared services delivery models as well as maximizes the return on investments of taxpayer dollars.[iii] This process has helped to eliminate wasteful spending on IT services and has saved over $2.7 billion over the last three years, “This represents a return on investment of nearly $245 for every $1 invested.”[iv]
What All This Means for You
Between updating current IT services and cybersecurity protection, the Federal Government is increasingly relying on outside help to assist agencies in implementing IT services that are efficient, cost effective and reliable. The government relies on many companies to help with IT initiatives and is awarding contracts to multiple vendors for billions of dollars. This may be the perfect opportunity to partner up or subcontract in order to win one of these multi-billion dollar contracts for yourself.Danielle Calamaras | BidNet.com
[i] Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2016 Delivering World Class Digital Services. Analytical Perspectives. Office of Management and Budget. N.d. web. 22 Oct. 2015
[ii] Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2016 – Information Technology. Analytical Perspectives. Office of Management and Budget. N.d. web. 22 Oct. 2015
[iii] PortfolioStat. CIO.gov. n.d. web. 06 Jan. 2016
[iv] Fiscal Year 2016 Budget of the U.S. Government. Office of Management and Budget. Whitehouse.gov. 2015. Web 06 Jan. 2016