Government IT is All About The People

Published on February 12, 2015

The federal IT news cycle is often full of stories about next-generation innovations, such as cloud computing, big data analytics and the “Internet of Things.”

While these new innovations are transforming the government IT landscape, it is all too easy to forget one fundamental principle when it comes to technology effectiveness: the people.

In addition to remembering that people are the ones developing the innovations, they are also the foundation for some of the most critical aspects of helping government achieve its mission goals.

When we discuss “people,” we are referring to vast audience that helps expand mission effectiveness through innovation development and implementation.  This includes agency CIOs, programs managers, industry members, procurement officers and legislators.

All of these individuals collectively help key advancements and bring innovation to the forefront.  For example, the new Federal CIO Megan Smith believes that government needs to raise its “Tech IQ” – which means enhancing technical skills, and design-centric thinking while always having a penchant for innovation.

Creating a more nimble and forward-thinking federal IT workforce is a laudable goal, which is essentially taking a page from Silicon Valley.  This can certainly be achieved once government has created a more risk-friendly procurement system and be more “willing to fail.”

Conversely, we would also say that in many ways government already has a high “Tech IQ” as well.  If you look at innovations coming out of DARPA and IARPA, we are making tremendous strides in developing innovations that support the warfighter and the Intelligence Community.

Can more be done?  Of course, but as long as we remember that innovation comes down to the people, we will be on the right path to ensure that our nation continually has a strong competitive edge.


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