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5 Predictions For Government IT In 2010

Government agencies will continue to struggle with cybersecurity, while making strides in transparency and cloud computing. There will also be new pushes for accountability and IT procurement reform.
In 2010, the White House will struggle to get people to effectively use the IT Dashboard, but Congress will begin to put agency CIOs' feet to the fire for both failing projects and poor use of the dashboard. The new transparency dashboard will get kudos from open government advocates, but it won't be clear how much force it will have behind it.

A new cybersecurity dashboard will cause controversy because critics will raise concerns about tipping the enemy off to which agencies have the poorest security measures in place. Dashboards will also pop up outside of IT, showing the public how well major non-IT projects are going and what's being done to remedy problems there, but just like in IT, it will be a tough slog to get agencies to effectively use them. Finally, all these dashboards will be used as fodder for budgeting for 2011 and 2012.

5. IT Procurement May See Some Tentative, Incomplete Reform
Federal government IT procurement is looking to get an overhaul. There are several efforts working their way through Congress, the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Defense to make significant changes to the way agencies buy and deploy IT.

For too long, agencies have bought IT like they buy battleships, requiring an arduous multi-stage process that includes unnecessary or inefficient steps, causing far too many agencies to be generations behind the private and consumer sectors by the time they have a system or service up and running.

However, IT procurement reform is strewn with obstacles, foremost among them cybersecurity and transparency. While a no-bid contract and an on-the-fly installation might be quicker, it can hide the details of government spending and take security shortcuts. Policy-making bodies will struggle with these questions but will release some new guidance and policies that address many of them, while a few like DISA's CertificationForge will begin making inroads in automating the certification and accreditation process.

For Further Reading

Chief Of The Year: Vivek Kundra

The Government CIO 50: Driving Change In The Public Sector

Ballmer Expected At White House Tech Forum