The Federal Government’s poor IT performance is an old story, but it got renewed attention this week because of two new documents. The first was Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel’s release of his final “Shared First” strategy document which sets guidelines that should lead to better returns on IT investment. The other event was a memo from Lesley Field, Acting Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy. Ms. Field laid out steps to make it easier for vendors to provide input and education so government can make smarter technology buys.
So much positive news in the space of a week had me feeling optimistic that we are on a path to stop wasting tax payer money and bring effective IT systems to government. But my good mood ended when an e-mail hit my inbox with fresh evidence of some of the thinking and behaviors that have caused the Federal government’s IT investments to significantly underperform.