Over the past six months, the Federal CIO Council (CIOC), in partnership with GSA’s Office of Government-wide Policy, worked to author a report that would provide an understanding of where Federal IT is and how to continue to improve on managing and modernizing it. That report – the State of Federal Information Technology (SOFIT) Report – is now released.
The CIOC enlisted the support of two contractor teams to provide an independent, comprehensive analysis of the current Federal IT environment. The main goals of SOFIT are to provide: an understanding of where we are currently and recommendations on how to move forward based on the lessons learned from the successes and challenges of past efforts to increase efficiency and security in Federal IT. While the observations and analysis in this report are based in part from interviews of the Council’s members, their opinions do not necessarily represent a government-wide consensus; individual agency experiences vary.
What we learned. The rapid transformation of how Americans interact with businesses, news, entertainment, and other services has radically changed their expectations of how they interact with government. The importance of changing how government views and manages information and information technology cannot be understated. No longer can Federal IT be seen as merely a back-office function and the management of government information relegated to a lower-level priority. Federal agencies must adapt to the modern, digital world.
Where we are going. The changes required to move to a digital government will significantly impact every Federal agency and its employees. Such a transformation will require changes to both culture and policy. We’re at a crossroads – opportunities abound, but so do challenges and outside threats. Our IT infrastructure supports all aspects of government operations. How we respond to these challenges and embrace these opportunities will determine the effectiveness of our government for years to come.
How we can get there. The path to a successful transformation is possible through better internal collaboration, improvements to human resources and procurement operations, a shift away from legacy systems, and a continued push towards transparency and open data. CIOs must think beyond their traditional roles and responsibilities, about their place in the broader Federal IT ecosystem.This report provides a comprehensive review of key IT initiatives and challenges, along with actionable recommendations that Federal IT leaders may want to undertake to improve and transform the state of Federal IT.
You can read the SOFIT report here. Links to specific portions of the report are below.