Federal CIO Vivek Kundra Leaving Administration – What’s the Future of Federal IT Reform?

Breaking news today that Federal CIO Vivek Kundra is leaving the White House. Kundra was originally appointed to overhaul the Federal Government’s use of information technology. According to Politico, in the past two-and-a-half years he has overseen $80 billion in federal IT projects. The point of those projects, and Kundra’s strong endorsement of cloud computing for the government, we’re crystalized in his 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology Management, announced in December 2010. The question now is: will that reform plan continue to move forward?

While I certainly hope so, I believe agencies have a responsibility to achieve the objectives of the plan regardless of any White House mandate. BPM software provides the means to do so.

Kundra’s mission, per the 25 Point Plan, included making government operate more efficiently (through “Light Technology and Shared Solutions”), manage large-scale IT projects more effectively (through improved Program Management), improve its acquisition processes (in part by identifying and implementing acquisition best practices), and streamline governance and improve accountability.

What role can our BPM software play in achieving these goals? We provide an ideal cloud BPM platform for agencies to tap the value of those “light technologies and shared services.” And Appian Cloud is FISMA-certified to meet strict federal IT security requirements. We have developed government specific solutions, for areas including Program Management and Acquisition Business Management, that give agencies a jump-start in reforming these critical areas. We deliver the increased process visibility and integrated audit trails required to improve governance and provide better accountability.

Whether BPM technology is used to achieve the objectives Kundra laid out is less important than ensuring that those objectives are met. Kundra’s IT reform goals are not only worthy, they are vital if federal agencies are to perform optimally, reduce cost and provide sufficient operational transparency in the 21st Century. That is what we all deserve as U.S. citizens.

Office of Management and Budget director Jack Lew in a statement today said that the White House is planning for “a smooth transition” and will continue to build on Kundra’s work. Let’s hope so.

-Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications