Is the Modernization of IT being Adequately Pursued by Government Agencies?

**Title: IT Modernization: Perspectives from Government Leaders at GovFuture Forum DC June 2023 Event**

**Subheading: Introduction to IT Modernization for Government Agencies**

In today’s rapidly evolving technological landscape, IT modernization has become imperative for government agencies. These agencies need to provide services to their constituents while also keeping pace with evolving technology and emerging cybersecurity threats. By adopting advanced technologies and effectively harnessing data, agencies can revolutionize their operations, enable informed decision-making, and enhance citizen services. However, the constantly evolving nature of IT modernization poses challenges for government agencies. This article explores insights from government leaders who discussed IT modernization efforts and their respective agency’s approach at the GovFuture Forum DC June 2023 event.

**Subheading: Taka Ariga – Driving Effective Data Utilization at Government Accountability Office (GAO)**

Taka Ariga, Chief Data Scientist and Director of Innovation Lab at Government Accountability Office (GAO), emphasized the importance of data utilization in their agency’s IT modernization strategy. Ariga highlighted their three-pronged approach, focusing on data science, data governance, and data literacy. According to Ariga, data science is the easiest part when reliable data is available. However, foundational issues around data governance play a crucial role in ensuring data credibility. GAO is exploring methods to make data assets visible, establish policies for data access, and provide dependable metadata to enhance user trust. Additionally, the agency is considering introducing a Yelp-style review system for data assets to aid users in understanding data quality and reliability. Ariga also emphasized the significance of data literacy within the organization to effectively interpret data-driven information.

**Subheading: Andrea Brandon – Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Top-Down Leadership Approach**

Andrea Brandon, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget, Finance, Grants, and Acquisition within the Department of the Interior (DOI), discussed the importance of top-down leadership when adopting new technologies. Brandon emphasized the need to empower employees and encourage them to embrace change rather than feeling threatened by it. She shared her vision for DOI’s Business Integration and Innovation Office, describing it as the “BI squared office.” Brandon encouraged her team to boldly explore uncharted territories and foster innovation. DOI plans to establish an Innovation Lab at their Reston, VA office to create an open environment and leverage advanced technologies like augmented reality. Brandon envisions smart boards, voice-activated assistants, and a collaborative workspace to drive innovation and transform the agency’s operations.

**Subheading: Mitch Winans – Building a Culture of Digitalization and Partnerships at Internal Revenue Service (IRS)**

Mitch Winans, Senior Advisor for Enterprise Digitalization at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), shared the cultural principles driving their digitalization and IT modernization efforts. These principles, established by IRS leader Harrison Smith, include being pro digitalization rather than anti-status quo. Winans highlighted the importance of acknowledging challenges, transparency, and finding a balance. Building partnerships with the private sector, academia, and other stakeholders is crucial for IRS to accomplish its objectives. Winans emphasized the significance of empathy and respect within the organization and encouraged approaching challenges with a kind and understanding attitude.

**Subheading: Stuart Wagner – Addressing Risk and Balancing Security and Innovation at the Department of the Air Force**

Stuart Wagner, Chief Digital Transformation Officer for the Department of the Air Force, discussed the approach to risk, particularly from a technological standpoint, in the context of IT modernization. He stressed the need to assess the risk of inaction and the opportunity costs associated with maintaining the status quo. Wagner highlighted the importance of considering the potential risks of not adopting new technologies or implementing changes. Sometimes, the risk of current practices outweighs the risks associated with potential actions. Wagner emphasized the need to strike a balance between security and innovation to drive transformative changes within the Department of the Air Force.

**Subheading: Conclusion**

The insights shared by government leaders at the GovFuture Forum DC June 2023 event shed light on the challenges and strategies related to IT modernization in government agencies. From prioritizing data science, governance, and literacy to embracing top-down leadership and building partnerships, these leaders emphasized the importance of driving change and adopting advanced technologies. By effectively navigating the complexities of IT modernization, government agencies can enhance their services, make informed decisions, and keep up with evolving technology and cybersecurity threats.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

June 20, 2023: Subcommittee Meeting on Planning and Sustainability

Boost IRS Revenue with $38 Million Collected in Delinquent Taxes via IRA Funds