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Top 10 Government IT Predictions For 2011

Federal agencies will deliver on current IT projects, like cloud computing and data center consolidation, while tackling open government, cybersecurity defense, and privacy in the post-WikiLeaks era.



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9. Agency CIOs Come Under Pressure

For the first two years of the Obama administration, OMB used the carrot more than the stick to get agency CIOs in line with its IT policy objectives. Going forward, however, OMB is raising expectations that senior IT leaders in government get on board with its top priorities. Look no further than OMB's 25-Point Implementation Plan To Reform Federal IT Management for evidence that agency CIOs will be on the hot seat. In addition to the new "cloud first" strategy and initial data center closings, the reform plan calls for renewed investment review boards and broader rollout of OMB's TechStat project-review sessions.

As another part of the plan, OMB is redefining the role of agency CIOs, requiring that they spend more of their time and attention on portfolio management. With those redefined responsibilities, a lengthy list of IT reforms, and so much attention being paid to IT project performance, the job of the agency CIO has gotten tougher and any shortcomings, more visible.

10. Cloud Security Program Sputters

The Federal Risk Authorization Management Program, or FedRAMP, aims to accelerate cloud adoption in government by streamlining the plodding, ad hoc process through which cloud services otherwise satisfy federal cybersecurity guidelines. It's an effort that's been welcomed by the tech industry and government IT pros alike, but early reviews of the draft process leave something to be desired, and the government will need to work through these issues in the first few months of 2011 before FedRAMP can get up and running.

Among the criticisms levied against FedRAMP are that it's not a mandated program, its processes might make it hard for startups to enter the government market, there's insufficient attention to application security, and that FedRAMP is overly rooted in traditional (non-cloud) cybersecurity. What's more, it could still be months before the first FedRAMP certifications pass muster.

SEE ALSO:

White House Scraps, Overhauls IT Projects

Federal Cybersecurity Spending To Hit $13.3B By 2015

White House IT Overhaul Plan Includes Imminent Action

Feds Roll Out Cloud Security Guidelines

Data Center Consolidation Gets Under Way

Where's Government Data In The Cloud?

Editor's Choice
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer