Federal IT Now Powered by Former Microsoft Executive - The UpStream

Federal IT Now Powered by Former Microsoft Executive

posted Sunday Aug 7, 2011 by Jon Wurm

Federal IT Now Powered by Former Microsoft Executive

On August 4th of this year President Obama announced the CIO, Chief Information Officer, position of the Federal Government to be filled by Steven VanRoekel. The former Microsoft executive, the 2nd person to fill the position, is responsible for managing the $80 billion set aside for IT spending. He was considered after heading up the project to transform the FCC's previously terrible website into something much more manageable and much less 1990.

His Predecessor, Vivek Kundra, laid the groundwork for policies that are intended to streamline government operations by reducing the current 2500 data centers to 1700 by 2015 using a "cloud-first policy." He was also a big proponent of "open government," which VanRoekel plans to carry on as well, despite continuous budget cuts. The CIO is also responsible for cyber security, including working with other government agencies like the NSA and Homeland Security to combat the increasing attacks on government systems.

VanRoekel talks about his take on the real problem that needs to be addressed to bring the government up to speed after the break.

VanRoekel thinks that his biggest obstacle to overcome will be bringing the government up to speed and filling the large gap that has been created by the public and private sector.

The gap between how the private sector deploys IT and how the public sector does is the single largest factor in the productivity gap.

He didn't go into details about solutions but did also cite this as a reason why the government struggles to provide a 21st century experience for its employees.

I would have to agree with VanRoekel that this gap which exists between the public and private sector is the reason for the government falling behind technologically. You could argue that this happens for a variety of reasons, like the government failing to think outside the box and tap into the private sector for help. Approaching the right people who know how to get the job done might yield better results instead of just giving millions of dollars to whoever has the best lobbyist. There is also a lot of corruption embedded in that process that results in tons of wasted government spending, eTreppid is just one example. Hopefully, VanRoekel will be able to close that gap and bring them into the 21st century but only time will tell if he's the right man for the job.


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