Government // Enterprise Architecture
Commentary
10/7/2010
09:24 AM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Global CIO: IBM & Dell Get In Obama's Face With $1-Trillion Challenge

Their plan for helping the White House save $1 trillion includes a haunting scenario for America if no action is taken.

Among the many intriguing aspects in Wednesday's proposal from Sam Palmisano and Michael Dell for helping the federal government save $1 trillion over the next decade was the surprisingly -- and refreshingly -- blunt language they used to describe the consequences should the White House decide not to pursue their proposals.

In a Wednesday op-ed piece from Palmisano and Dell, their concluding sentence says this: "The alternative is to remain mired in deficit and recession, choking U.S. competitiveness and stifling the fundamental driver of our country’s growth and greatness, American society itself."

Even more surprising -- and again refreshing -- is the fact that this blunt position is supported by not only IBM and Dell but also by Intel, EMC, Motorola, and other members of the Technology CEO Council that developed the trillion-dollar proposal.

The group's member companies generate $300 billion in annual revenue and employ 700,000 workers around the globe, so they've got the real-world heft to make such claims as well as the real-world experience to show how to strip out $100 billion in waste each year for 10 years.

The op-ed piece is thoughtful and measured, citing numerous examples of various government agencies that have used advanced technology and related innovations to dramatically lower the cost of government and enhance the level of service offered to citizens.

But the concluding sentence noted above is a doozy because it aggressively and appropriately escalates the entire discussion from one of rosy potential scenarios to one that starkly describes the cost of doing nothing. Look at the language:

  • "...remain mired in deficit and recession..."

  • "...choking U.S. competitiveness..."

  • "...stifling the fundamental driver of our country's growth and greatness..."

    Global CIO
    Global CIOs: A Site Just For You
    Visit InformationWeek's Global CIO -- our new online community and information resource for CIOs operating in the global economy.
    Those are not the carefully calibrated words generally associated with the CEOs of massive global corporations as they discuss situations involving the same federal government that would stand to gain so much as a client but that can also wield such harmful power as a regulator of industry and a promoter of anti-business sentiment.

    The overall plan offers a vast range of cost-savings opportunities to the White House:

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