Federal CIOs on the Hot Seat Need BPM Software

Vivek Kundra, the first Federal Government CIO, was the keynote speaker at a trade show I attended last week.  This was my first time hearing him tell his personal story of leading government IT transformation.  Vivek recounted a number of specific government IT failures with dollars attached on a scale I’m not used to working with.  It’s no wonder that every agency CIO now finds themselves on the hot seat.

Compounding the challenge for agency CIOs is a series of new initiatives from the Office of the Federal CIO.  These initiatives provide important guidelines CIOs are required to follow in the quest for more effective and cost efficient applications.  However, those guidelines do not lay out a specific approach likely to lead to success, leaving it up to CIOs and their staffs to find their own way.

I’m sure all Federal CIOs are feeling the heat and are committed to improving, but I worry that many don’t understand how they got into this position.   Albert Einstein is noted for saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  It’s clear that much of the past IT poor performance is a result of trying to adapt traditional commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software applications to government needs.  To avoid the insanity trap, Federal CIOs and their staffs need to adopt modern approaches to creating applications.

To help Federal CIOs sort through the new initiatives and find a way out of the insanity trap, I created a white paper titled, “Adapting to the New Information Technology Directives: A Guide for Federal Government CIOs.”  The paper explains the specific directives, combines them with the broad goals of government IT reform, and distills everything into six main points.  Those points are as follows:

  1. Adopt “Business Ready Technology”
  2. Move from “Best of Breed” to “One Platform, One Environment”
  3. Scrap the Traditional Approach to Gathering Requirements and Writing RFPs
  4. Focus on Flexibility, Not Just “Cloud”
  5. Think “Lead the Receiver”
  6. Begin with Social and Mobile in Mind

Agency CIOs can also look for help from their peers who have blazed a trail by creating major new applications using modern BPM platforms.  Over 35 Federal agencies are already experiencing great success with the Appian BPM Suite, including the US Marine Corps, FDIC, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, FDA, FEMA, The Library of Congress, and Defense Acquisition University.  These agencies have found a way to escape the insanity trap of continuing to invest in traditional COTS applications.

You can escape the insanity trap too.  My white paper will get you started so download it right now.

Evan McDonnell

Vice President of Solutions