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TechAmerica’s Twentieth Annual Survey of Federal Chief Information Officers
Table of contents
Executive summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ...

Executive summary
As we release TechAmerica’s Twentieth Annual Survey of Federal Chief           Our report conclude...

Survey methodology
Purpose                                                               The Task Group developed an...

Transparency and transformation
through technology
“Transparency will set you free,” says a federal CIO         Benefi...

    each resource promises to be effective in easy            and finance status and information. They say

Collaboration and participation                         Figure 1: How would you categorize the current state
CIOs sa...

                                                          Barriers to transparency include the following,

Key CIO challenges
What do federal CIOs consider their most important                               compliance activ...

    Trends                                               Issues
    CIOs say there is continuing movement           ...

Priority needs                                          will support current and future needs? For the
CIOs say thei...

                                 strategies. The CIOs’ consensus                                         Some CIOs ...

•	   Addressing access to and identity management     they call spot solutions. A CIO whose organiza-
     for the ...

     Several survey participants say they are part of a         offer a challenging, innovative environment

Solutions                                              Governance
CIOs in the surveys offered these suggestions for...

     Efficiency and effectiveness                          They report improving Web-based interfaces with

•	   CIOs serving health care organizations say that   •	   The IT budget needs to be better aligned
     IT innova...

     •	   One said that his ability to create an envi-    However, they are concerned with what one

Effect of the Recovery Act
                   The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (Recovery Act)

State of the CIO Survey
The State of the CIO Survey is a series of short,                           Barriers to pro...

Table 2: Greatest barriers to increased effectiveness of CIO offices
                    Initiative                ...

Observations from industry
Earlier sections of this report reflect the views               We are delighted to see ...

Add context to open government                        Improve acquisition
IT is a critical element in transforming ...
2010 Tech America Federal CIO Survey Final Report
2010 Tech America Federal CIO Survey Final Report
2010 Tech America Federal CIO Survey Final Report
2010 Tech America Federal CIO Survey Final Report
2010 Tech America Federal CIO Survey Final Report
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2010 Tech America Federal CIO Survey Final Report

  1. 1. TechAmerica’s Twentieth Annual Survey of Federal Chief Information Officers march 2010 TrAnspArency And TrAnsformATion Through Technology
  2. 2. Table of contents Executive summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Survey methodology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Transparency and transformation through technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Benefits of transparency ....................................................... 3 IT approaches to transparency .............................................. 3 Opportunities and barriers .................................................... 5 Key CIO challenges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Cybersecurity ..................................................................... 7 IT infrastructure ................................................................... 9 IT workforce ..................................................................... 12 IT management ................................................................. 13 Efficiency and effectiveness ................................................ 14 Performance management and accountability ........................ 15 Acquisition ....................................................................... 16 Effect of the Recovery Act . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 State of the CIO survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Time in office .................................................................... 18 Barriers to progress ........................................................... 18 Value of IT initiatives .......................................................... 18 Observations from industry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Appendices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Appendix A: Participating Federal IT officials.......................... 23 Appendix B: Industry participation in report preparation ........... 24 About TechAmerica TechAmerica is the leading voice for the U.S. technology industry, which is the driving force behind productivity growth and jobs creation in the United States and the foundation of the global innovation economy. Representing approximately 1,200 member companies of all sizes from the public and commercial sectors of the economy, it is the industry’s largest advocacy organization and is dedicated to helping members’ top and bottom lines. It is also the technology industry’s only grassroots-to-global advocacy network, with offices in state capitals around the United States, Washington, D.C., Europe (Brussels) and Asia (Beijing). TechAmerica was formed by the merger of AeA (formerly the American Electronics Association), the Cyber Security Industry Alliance (CSIA), the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) and the Government Electronics & Information Technology Association (GEIA). Learn more at About Grant Thornton LLP The people in the independent firms of Grant Thornton International Ltd provide personalized attention and the highest quality service to public and private clients in more than 100 countries. Grant Thornton LLP is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the six global audit, tax and advisory organizations. Grant Thornton International Ltd and its member firms are not a worldwide partnership, as each member firm is a separate and distinct legal entity. Grant Thornton LLP’s Global Public Sector, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is a global management consulting business with the mission of providing responsive and innovative financial, performance management and systems solutions to governments and international organizations. We have provided comprehensive, cutting-edge solutions to the most challenging business issues facing government organizations. Our in-depth understanding of government operations and guiding legislation represents a distinct benefit to our clients. Many of our professionals have previous civilian and military public sector experience and understand the operating environment of government. Visit Grant Thornton’s Global Public Sector at
  3. 3. 1 Executive summary As we release TechAmerica’s Twentieth Annual Survey of Federal Chief Our report concludes with a set of high-level Information Officers (CIO), President Obama’s administration has just strategic observations from the perspective of entered its second year and its priorities, strategies and initiatives are TechAmerica’s industry members. Their recom- starting to take shape. An important focus of the new administration has mendations to the Obama administration are to: been to create a more open government, one that is more transparent, par- • Explain the vision that guides new initiatives ticipatory and collaborative. Federal CIOs and the information technology (IT) resources they manage are expected to make a significant contribution • Position Cloud Computing by describing to achieving open government. The CIOs are excited about playing a key in detail how and where it should be applied role in fundamentally changing how the federal government and its con- in government stituents interact through the use of information technology. They think • Add context to the concept of open govern- that broadening public participation and involvement in government will ment with more details about its shape, form create greater trust in government, increase the value that citizens receive and benefits from government and unleash innovation with respect to governing and government services. • Define the target state for cybersecurity and create a roadmap for achieving the appropriate In support of open, transparent government, we found CIOs taking actions level of operational security in two distinct areas. They are providing access to information through projects like,, and the Federal • Improve acquisition through human resources IT Dashboard. And they are increasing collaboration and participation and operational excellence through social media, Web 2.0 and Government 2.0, blogs, wikis, Twitter, • Work with the Office of Personnel FaceBook, public dialogues and next-generation Web applications. Management to improve the IT workforce Looking ahead, CIOs see the following long-term challenges, ranked • Use performance management and account- in order of priority: ability to drive results 1. Cybersecurity • Focus on project management excellence, 2. IT infrastructure including on project management profes- 3. IT workforce sionals, governance, links to mission and 4. IT management strategy and managing project scope 5. Efficiency and effectiveness 6. Performance management and accountability We agree with President Obama that federal IT 7. Acquisition is a critical part of government transformation. As such, it deserves the best, most considered Our survey report addresses CIO views on current efforts to overcome leadership possible, clear goals and the right the challenges and make positive contributions to the strategies of the resources to make the journey. Obama administration. Most CIOs reported that the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) has had no impact on their IT budgets, even though a portion of those funds are set aside for management and administrative purposes. Close to half of the CIOs report they are not involved in leading Recovery Act efforts in their agencies.
  4. 4. 2 Survey methodology Purpose The Task Group developed an interview guide TechAmerica (formerly the Information Technology and questionnaire that reflects this year’s theme: “Transparency and Transformation through Association of America) has conducted an annual Technology,” which included these topics: federal government chief information officer (CIO) • Top challenges facing CIOs survey for 20 years. Through the survey, top IT • Transparency and transformation officials, oversight groups and congressional staff through technology share their views of the challenges federal CIOs face • Cybersecurity • Cloud Computing now and in the future. As in past years, TechAmerica • IT workforce received outstanding support from the federal CIO • Performance management and accountability community and from Grant Thornton LLP, which • Acquisition reform and sourcing helped sponsor and conduct this survey. • The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 We conducted this year’s survey interviews • Web 2.0 during the fall of 2009 and early winter of • Emerging technologies 2010. The purpose of the survey is to provide • Thin Client the IT community with a point-in-time assess- • Green IT ment of the thinking of key federal IT opinion In order to obtain point-in-time and trend data, leaders on the significant issues they face now the interview teams also administered a multiple- and in the future. choice “State of the CIO” questionnaire to Methodology participants who are CIOs. Both interviewers TechAmerica’s Federal Committee sponsored and those interviewed were free to explore and and conducted this year’s in-person interviews discuss areas of particular interest in more depth. from October 2009 through February 2010. Visit Teams of TechAmerica interviewers met with under Publications to download a copy of the more than 40 CIOs, information resources man- survey guide and questionnaire. agement officials and representatives from the Our survey’s report reflects the words of intervie- White House Office of Management and Budget wees to the maximum extent possible. However, and congressional oversight committee staff. The to preserve anonymity we do not quote or attri- TechAmerica CIO Survey Task Group selected bute responses to specific individuals. interviewees based on their involvement in pre- vious years, enterprise challenges and relevance of information technology to agency mission.
  5. 5. 3 Transparency and transformation through technology “Transparency will set you free,” says a federal CIO Benefits of transparency we interviewed for this survey. His feeling is shared Commenting on public sector transparency’s core concept of openness, CIOs saw many by most of the CIO participants in the study, who benefits of broadening public participation and are excited about President Obama’s ambitious involvement in government. The most impor- program to create a more transparent, participatory tant benefits include: and collaborative federal government. One reason for • Greater trust between citizens and government their energy is that, in the President’s first budget, the • Increased value in what government provides to citizens administration stated its intent to leverage the power • Innovation in government/citizen of technology to transform the federal government. collaboration and in government services CIOs in our survey are buoyed by the key role they • A better foundation for public-private partnerships have been asked to play in transforming how the • A move from anecdote-based government and its constituents interact through to fact-based government information technology. Federal IT leaders also IT approaches to transparency share a high-level understanding of what transparent CIOs in the survey appear to be progressing government is intended to deliver. Yet, as a group, toward transparent government by focusing on they have a wide range of views on what the desired two tactical areas: increasing access to information and collaboration and participation. end state will look like, the opportunities to be Access to information leveraged and the barriers to success. Survey CIOs pointed to the most visible proj- ects that President Obama’s administration has focused on to improve the access to various types of information from and about govern- ment, including,, and the Federal IT Dashboard, shown in Table 1. According to our CIOs, although the four information resources in Table 1 are designed for different data access and users, they have more common elements than differences. Each resource is maturing, still in its implementa- tion and operational phases. As such, they all have similar issues such as data quality, lack of operational rhythm and defined requirements and low customer demand. Still, say the CIOs,
  6. 6. 4 each resource promises to be effective in easy and finance status and information. They say access to federal information—definite progress this form of internal organizational transparency toward more transparent government. will deliver the benefits that President Obama’s administration expects government-wide, with Several CIOs say they have extended the attri- increased trust and collaboration being para- butes of the Federal IT Dashboard into their mount. One CIO says that he and his organiza- internal customer base (or are starting to do this). tion’s chief financial officer (CFO) are working Their intent is to focus attention on customer together on a CIO Operational Dashboard. service, security, mission support, and budget Table 1: Federal access to information projects Project Purpose Features Increases public access to high- • Searches raw data by single value, machine-readable datasets or multiple categories and by one generated by the Executive Branch or more agencies of the federal government • Provides hyperlinks leading to agency tools or Web pages that allow mining of datasets • Accesses government geodata, or a combination of geospatial and other information Provides a single searchable Web • For each federal government site, accessible by the public for free award, gives the name and that includes information concerning location of the entity receiving it, federal awards (contracts, loans, amount, transaction type, funding grants, insurance, direct assistance, agency, and other information other payments) • Searchable by awardee, agency, type of award • Gives summary information such as top recipients of awards, etc. Federal IT Dashboard Provides details of federal • Tracks progress of IT investments government IT investments • Gives performance information for major IT projects • Shows contractors and contract awards Gives public access to data related • Reports ARRA funding by state/ to spending under the American territory, zip, congressional dis- Reinvestment and Recovery Act of trict, type of award 2009 (ARRA) • Shows locally reported and fed- eral agency-reported spending • Geodata provided • Allows for the reporting of poten- tial fraud, waste and abuse
  7. 7. 5 Collaboration and participation Figure 1: How would you categorize the current state CIOs say they are increasing efforts at collabora- of your agency’s involvement with social media, such as tion and participation, including social media, Twitter and FaceBook? Web 2.0 and Government 2.0 initiatives such as 40% blogs, wikis, public dialogues and next generation Web sites. For example, in the State of the CIO 35% portion of this survey we asked CIOs about their 30% involvement with social media such as Twitter and FaceBook, which tie into the Obama administra- 25% tion’s emphasis on transparent government. 20% 40% As shown in Figure 1, almost 30 percent report that they provide access to social media capa- 15% 30% bilities to employees and encourage their use in 10% interacting with people both within and without 15% 15% an agency; 15 percent give access to employees 5% only. Just fewer than 40 percent are working on 0% 0% the policy foundation they deem necessary for Currently Currently Currently Currently No current providing access/ providing access/ developing policy tracking other plans to use opening access to and use of social media. The encouraging use encouraging use for use of agencies’ social media both inside and inside agency social media experience rest are watching the experience of other agencies outside of agency before starting their own initiatives. Although CIOs reported few specific achieve- and agencies are expected to implement new ments related to these initiatives, most believe the capabilities. CIOs also anticipate that the direc- activities facilitate the seamless exchange of ideas tive will lead to a more robust policy framework and information within and among government that will enable the significant changes required. entities and between government and citizens. To this end, CIOs seem willing to engage in activities Opportunities and barriers they consider experimental in nature, believing CIOs see both opportunities for and barriers to that these are the right things to be doing and that, transparent government. Opportunities include: in the end, the new ways will deliver important • Leveraging existing applications and data by benefits. Several CIOs use personal blogs or other improving access and collaboration social media to improve strategic communications • Becoming a more agile government that is and participation within their organizations and, better able to adapt to change they are frank in saying, to gain personal experi- • Using transparent government to improve sup- ence with the social media in vogue. port to and achieve core missions Our CIOs also say that the administration’s new • Providing visibility and momentum to enable directive on open government will identify addi- eliminating low-value applications tional initiatives that are important to moving • Cascading metrics from department-level the program forward. The directive also will dashboards down to individual performance establish the specific pace at which departments objectives, thereby improving accountability
  8. 8. 6 Barriers to transparency include the following, say our CIOs: Haiti earthquake aftermath proves IT value • Opportunity cost of investments in transparent Tragedy struck Haiti while we interviewed CIOs for this government (a minority of CIOs say that such survey. After the January 12, 2010, earthquake, several investments would be better used for direct CIOs reported that Twitter, text messaging, FaceBook improvements of government operations) and other social media helped improve communication • Improved tools, especially related to search, among disaster victims, rescue teams, relief organiza- analytics and data quality tions and charity-minded citizens, to name a few exam- • Better definition of what the public wants ples. The CIOs think that post-event assessments will and needs with respect to government infor- show how that technology improved government and mation. Lacking clarity about citizen desires, relief organization response. Indeed, the CIOs believe several CIOs say that there is too much trial that the Haiti experience has transformed how such and error in current initiatives. This may be organizations will use technology to improve their tac- one reason that a CIO we interviewed says, tics during future disasters. “I will know what open and transparent government is when I see it.”) • Inadequate or inappropriate governance for projects aimed at transparent government • Policy to support transparent government, especially for security and records manage- ment. Says one CIO, “We are moving fast without a policy framework.” • More reliable, proven security • Legacy systems that impede agility and hinder transparency • Data quality In summary, federal CIOs we interviewed know they are a bit fuzzy on what the transparency end state will be and the plans to get there, and they see that there are some barriers along the way. However, they think that increasing transpar- ency is the right thing to do because it will help lead to transforming government, working more effectively in the public sector and achieving better collaboration with citizens.
  9. 9. 7 Key CIO challenges What do federal CIOs consider their most important compliance activities of agencies more efficient challenges? In the recent past, our annual CIO and less costly, is being implemented in some agencies now. It does not address another surveys show that these include cybersecurity, IT reported issue, which is that there is too much infrastructure, the IT workforce and IT management, emphasis on compliance versus operational which in 2010 are still high on the list of concerns. security, but instead simply addresses the cost of compliance. Many CIOs report progress in meeting some of the • FISMA reform. Congress is considering challenges. CIOs have redefined other challenges as several reform bills that address criticisms and understanding of them has matured. shortcomings of the current FISMA. Our CIOs support reforms that would make the FISMA process more of a technical review Cybersecurity than, as one CIO says, “. . . a question-and-an- Several CIOs say they see millions of malicious swer document asking rudimentary questions.” attempts per day to access their networks. Many • Trusted Internet Connection (TIC). Most are by recreational hackers, and there are increased CIOs think this program is a good strategy attempts by sophisticated criminals looking for and will produce better protected govern- financial gain, say some CIOs. More alarming, ment Internet connections. On the other say our survey participants, is the growth in cyber hand, several CIOs express concern that TIC attacks backed by countries looking for classified will narrow the focus of cyber enemies and information or ways to control critical parts of our potentially mushroom the damage should military and critical infrastructure. they break in. No wonder, then, that once again cybersecurity tops • Federal Desktop Core Configurations the list of federal IT challenges. CIOs described to (FDCC). CIOs say this effort to direct security us a set of threats that are increasing at an alarming investments into standard configurations rate, maintaining and sometimes widening the gap has made good progress. They think FDDC between the current and the desired security state. is good strategy and allows the government This has happened despite a great deal of funding to focus its resources on testing and protecting and attention invested in trying to close the gap. a more defined universe of desktop software. Based on these discussions, four major cybersecurity Some CIOs were concerned about the level topics emerge: the status of CIOs’ current efforts, of effort and investment required to keep the trends, issues and priority needs. FDCC current, considering the rapid pace at which technology evolves. Status of current efforts • Identity management. Several CIOs say Our CIOs provided a status on several cur- that identity management is critical, especially rent cybersecurity initiatives which were started for sharing information, because it creates during the Bush administration: trust across organizations and boundaries. • Automated Federal Information Security Our CIOs expect a government-wide strategy Management Act (FISMA) reporting tool. will soon emerge to guide progress in this This effort, which aims at making FISMA important security component.
  10. 10. 8 Trends Issues CIOs say there is continuing movement Much of the security issue discussion we heard toward centralizing security programs across from CIOs seemed to involve a balance between the enterprise. This parallels trends to consoli- opposite ends of the IT spectrum. Primarily, this date infrastructure, architectures, certain types was balancing security against the following: of application systems and IT management access to information; transparent, participatory, components. Several CIOs say that the size of collaborative government; Cloud Computing; security breaches is trending downward while the mobile/wireless computing; and social media. number of attempts is going up. The same CIOs They also report issues of privacy versus access say that their efforts to monitor and protect to information. CIOs say they are challenged networks and systems are having a positive effect. and frustrated by the difficulty in establishing the right balance between security and improved Several CIOs mentioned infrastructure trends access to information. that have security implications or are driven by security strategy. For example, some organiza- Other issues include: tions use Thin Clients, where devices do not • Getting users to take security seriously. support local storage but instead store all data Several CIOs say that a high percentage of and software on protected servers, with improved security breaches occur because internal users security being a key benefit. Several CIOs who are careless or fail to follow procedures. deploy personal computers (PCs) as clients say • Legacy applications. Some CIOs say that that all local storage is encrypted. Some of those legacy applications are their greatest area of CIOs report that they no longer allow removable security exposure, because of the programs’ storage devices such as thumb drives. CIOs in older technology and lack of security architec- organizations whose missions have national secu- ture built into them. rity implications and data report a continuing • Human capital. CIOs say that the ability trend to operate parallel networks for classified to attract and retain certified security profes- and for less sensitive administrative uses. sionals is an acute and severe problem.
  11. 11. 9 Priority needs will support current and future needs? For the CIOs say their short- and long-term critical last decade, the government’s answer has been a cybersecurity needs include the following: slow but consistent push toward a more consoli- dated infrastructure. CIOs we interviewed say • Insight into all devices on their that the benefits of consolidating IT infrastruc- respective networks ture include improvements in: • Two-factor authentication for network access • Active monitoring with predictive tools • Security, efficiency, cost management • Standardization across an enterprise and and containment between enterprises • Ability to manage • Unity of command to improve governance • Responsive service and accountability • Agility and ability to adapt to change • Access controls at both the domain • Ability to focus on core mission and data levels • Energy consumption One CIO described a “spectrum of cyber capability” CIOs say that the Obama administration is con- that he expects to implement over a four- to five- tinuing this approach, but with more emphasis year period. His approach integrates improvements on technology solutions than on management in security human capital and security infrastructure strategies to overcome organizational problems (i.e., more consolidation and upgraded security and resistance. Following is a summary of the infrastructure). This CIO says his approach will “… CIOs’ comments on enterprise-level moderniza- avoid the death spiral mode of patching exploited tion initiatives. security holes and instead move to active moni- Data center consolidation toring that anticipates and identifies threats before CIOs we interviewed say that data center they occur and that has ready counter responses.” consolidation is an important part of IT infra- IT infrastructure structure modernization and will help deliver Our CIOs say the state of the federal govern- the benefits listed in the previous section. Most ment’s IT infrastructure still presents a huge consolidation activity started before President challenge. They portray the current state in Obama took office in January 2009, but in the several ways, but most characterize it as: first year the administration has not emphasized it. However, in the FY 2011 budget the Obama • Dated technology administration introduced a new initiative to • Lacking standards create a government-wide strategy with specific • Security not architected in agency-level plans to consolidate federal data • Costly to operate and maintain centers, reducing their number and cost. Also, • Cannot scale or adapt to meet changing the new budget calls for centralizing IT services mission requirements for non-military agencies. • Low interoperability between application systems At the time of this survey, CIOs were not Major parts of the infrastructure must be mod- familiar with the details of the FY 2011 budget ernized, but how best to implement and main- but knew enough to have opinions on its broad tain an affordable IT infrastructure platform that
  12. 12. 10 strategies. The CIOs’ consensus Some CIOs say they already use Cloud was that the budget’s consolidation Computing. Examples given include initiatives were valid and appropriate internal active directory management ser- approaches to push large portions of the federal vices; cross-servicing for financial management IT infrastructure to greater efficiency and effec- and e-travel services; a mission system hosted tiveness. Some CIOs expressed concern about in a private cloud by a large IT services firm; a losing control of operations and the ability to hosting of Web portals; and using the Defense serve their customers. Information Service Agency’s private cloud offering. Several CIOs say they have Cloud Cloud Computing Computing pilot projects, such as a cloud-based Federal CIOs emphasize Cloud Computing applications suite, cloud email and scientific as an IT infrastructure solution, according to computing in a cloud environment. survey participants. As shown in Figure 2, most CIOs in the State of the CIO portion of our Most CIOs see cybersecurity and privacy as survey say they have initiatives in their organiza- barriers to widespread use of Cloud Computing. tions that support Cloud Computing. Some are Until overcome, such barriers may confine waiting to see what other agencies and OMB do Cloud Computing to public-facing or low- before committing to the cloud solution. (One risk applications, pilots, testing, open-source CIO says that he did not want to be an early solutions that are not mission critical and adopter, but would rather let another agency be similar uses. Near term, says one CIO, Cloud the cloud “pioneer.”) CIOs opinions on Cloud Computing would be used for low-level sensitive Computing technology ranged from it being systems, public clouds and community clouds. “innovative” and “emerging” to “time-sharing Another CIO believes that Cloud Computing with a new engine under the hood.” promises improved security because of its ability to respond quickly to and mitigate threats. Figure 2: How would you categorize the current state of your Our CIOs suggest several areas where govern- agency’s involvement with Cloud Computing? ment and industry could remove perceived 60% barriers to and speed adoption of Cloud Computing, including: 50% • Addressing security and privacy concerns 40% • Developing government standards for cloud 30% solutions for security, records management, 54% privacy and disability issues 20% • Determining how best to fit the Cloud 10% 22% Computing model into the federal appropria- 16% 8% tions process 0 Active project to move Undertaking pilot of Tracking OMB/ No current plans • Pushing cloud providers to adopt standard to Cloud Computing Cloud Computing awaiting direction to utilize Cloud approaches to application hosting to ensure Computing portability for customers
  13. 13. 11 • Addressing access to and identity management they call spot solutions. A CIO whose organiza- for the cloud tion is deploying a Thin Client solution says that • Creating an affordable way to convert legacy an earlier pilot test resulted in: applications to Cloud Computing • Reduced cybersecurity threat because all data Virtualization were bunkered in protected server environ- Virtualization is a hot topic among our CIOs ments and local storage was eliminated as a and most report some form of server virtualiza- point of malicious access tion. One says he used virtualization to reduce • Lower implementation costs because server count by 60, and another reports 66, of reduced cost of equipment and longer percent. Several CIOs say virtualization is a expected life “smart” practice, which we interpret as the same • Reduced operations and maintenance costs as a best practice. These CIOs did not report because all software and data are hosted any major challenges or issues with adopting on fewer centralized devices server virtualization. • Improved service, chiefly because of simplified desktop management Software as a Service (SaaS) • Reduced energy consumption, which delivers Several CIOs use or plan to use SaaS as they green IT (see the next section for more on this) continue to standardize and consolidate their IT infrastructures. Frequently mentioned uses User resistance to giving up their PCs is a big for SaaS for basic enterprise systems were email, issue, say our CIOs, but several say they over- instant messenger, calendaring and office suites. came it by offering versions of “blade” com- Expanded uses reported were for Web portals, puting where users get a PC-like experience social media and collaboration tools. One CIO through a Thin Client. says that a great benefit of SaaS and Cloud Green IT Computing will be to enable aggregation and self- CIOs in our survey clearly support green IT provisioning; she intends to start by consolidating initiatives for reducing the energy consumed by fundamentals such as Voice over Internet Protocol computer technology. Green IT initiatives have (VoIP), e-mail and identity management. been important to broader federal strategies for Most CIOs involved in SaaS say they will use efficient energy use and have received increased Cloud Computing providers. Several say the emphasis in recent years. General Services Administration’s ser- All our CIOs report agency-level initiatives or vice will be their way to access cloud tools. strategies to reduce energy consumption. Most say Thin Client these are small “low-hanging fruit” activities. They Several CIOs say they are incorporating Thin indicate that larger successes must wait until major Client technology in their target state infrastruc- modernization of IT infrastructures and consoli- ture in the planning, pilot or implementation dations such as reducing data centers or moving phase. While most have an enterprise view for portions of their computing use to the cloud. Thin Client use, several want to apply it for what
  14. 14. 12 Several survey participants say they are part of a offer a challenging, innovative environment broader, agency-wide full energy efficiency audit (one CIO made the comparison of “Google that will produce recommendations for the CIO versus government”) and other senior executives. They expect that • Agency processes may put all vacant positions IT consolidation initiatives mentioned earlier in in a pool, requiring re-justification before a this section will be part of their agency’s energy replacement can be recruited savings plans. • Making insourcing a priority: • In an internal pilot, one CIO found that IT workforce while insourcing costs less, it reduces flex- As in years past, the IT workforce is one of the ibility. Which is more important? top concerns of federal CIOs. Those in our • It is much easier to bring in contractors survey believe the government has a broad oppor- than to recruit and hire federal employees tunity to enhance its human capital manage- • In the near term, contractors are the only ment and strategies and to reshape its workforce. alternative for many positions Human capital management includes recruiting, • Forcing insourcing with arbitrary hiring, retaining and developing an IT workforce goals established without analysis capable of supporting government needs. Under is the wrong approach the previous administration of President Bush, • Young people are generally reluctant to outsourcing where possible was an important embrace IT as a career human capital strategy. The Obama administra- • Forced rotations among staff, especially those tion emphasizes insourcing instead, a significant involving geographic moves, hurt retention change in direction. Either way, our CIOs say because many people do not want to move success in IT human capital initiatives is critical • The performance evaluation systems need to to the future of the federal government. be redesigned to ensure that individual perfor- Issues mance is linked back to organizational goals Survey CIOs listed several issues they think are • The blended (federal employee/contractor) barriers to achieving an effective IT workforce: workforce is a reality; agencies need guidelines and best practices to achieve better performance • Recruitment processes move so slowly that • Developing skills and keeping them current is an agency’s IT workforce candidates are often a major concern, as is obtaining certifications hired and working for other employers for and retaining certified personnel six or more months before receiving a federal • More training is needed, along with a reliable offer. (One CIO says that these processes are source of funding the antithesis of agile and adaptive.) • Removing nonperformers from the federal • Human resources organizations are workforce is almost impossible, but with con- unequipped and in some cases seemingly tractors it is easy unmotivated to provide required support • Timely security clearance is an issue, especially • A perception exists, especially among young for contractors people, that the federal government does not
  15. 15. 13 Solutions Governance CIOs in the surveys offered these suggestions for Many CIOs say IT governance is a challenge. improving the IT workforce: They have agency executive councils and the like, but report that at times it is difficult to reach • Use internships because they produce a high consensus on some issues and to make decisions percentage of hires stick through implementation. One survey CIO • Use social media to reach out and improve believes that enterprise IT governance is working information flow to prospective employees, fairly well, but that working-level governance especially young, entry-level prospects continues to be a challenge, especially related • Promote social media to transform the federal to project decisions and project scope. image to be more innovative and interesting • Build and extend a sense of mission among To deal with such issues, one CIO implemented staff to help retain them a new governance process standardized around the • Offer easy access to on-line training; several Information Technology Infrastructure Library CIOs report good results and increased flex- (ITIL) and change management. Another says his ibility through this solution organization is incorporating a collaboration tool • Use knowledge management to capture called e-Room into the governance process and institutional knowledge from experienced expects to gain improvements as a result. employees and facilitate its transfer to others Project management • Use an agency alumni network to attract and CIOs say they continue to struggle with imple- recruit candidates menting projects that meet user needs, deliver • Create and maintain a good culture for desired benefits and are on time and within employment budget. They think that processes based on One CIO says, “The personnel system was set the Project Management Book of Knowledge up to protect the status quo, not to enable hiring (PMBOK) offer the best alternative for a disci- the best and brightest.” If this is a common per- plined agency systems development life cycle, ception, it calls for much broader, fundamental which is needed for better project planning and reform to fix what ails the federal workforce. execution. Naturally, the CIOs want better trained, more experienced project managers as well. IT management Most CIOs in the survey say their basic IT man- Our CIOs are fully aware of the IT Dashboard agement processes are in place and fairly mature. (see Table 1) and the TechStat accountability ses- This includes capital planning and investment sions introduced in January 2010, both of which control and enterprise architecture. Several CIOs provide details of federal government IT invest- consider their portfolio management processes to ments, and the CIOs are working to improve be mature, while others are still working toward the data they input to this database. Although this goal. they are concerned about decisions that might be made based on IT Dashboard data, in general the CIOs support it and think it will improve IT visibility within their organizations.
  16. 16. 14 Efficiency and effectiveness They report improving Web-based interfaces with This section reports on issues such as cost man- customers and back office integration that reduces agement and containment, process streamlining, complexity and customer effort. CIOs also believe innovation and level of resources. We were that the Citizen Services Dashboard described in also able to obtain comments from some CIOs the FY 2011 budget will add impetus to stream- on the FY 2011 federal budget’s “Analytical lining and improve the customer experience. Perspectives” chapter, which addressed informa- Innovation tion technology and specific sections dealing A major difference between the Bush and with making the IT infrastructure more efficient Obama administrations has been in the new and effective. administration’s focus on innovation. Some Cost management and containment examples include President Obama’s appoint- Getting more bang for the buck is something ment of a federal chief technology officer (CTO) federal CIOs are familiar with after years of tough to promote innovation through technology, economic times and pressure on discretionary especially in the private sector and between budgets. The Obama administration has empha- government and the private sector; the focus sized this through new initiatives that promise on unleashing innovation through the various to increase efficiencies and decrease costs. Many components of open government; and the inno- of issues our CIOs discussed relate to IT infra- vation expected from key initiatives like Cloud structure and are reported under that heading Computing and social media. earlier in this report. We asked our CIOs about their views on this Another cost management initiative on consoli- new focus on innovation, and they gave us the dated acquisition is designed to add efficiency following comments: mechanisms such as Federal eMall ordering • Use technology to drive a culture of innova- portals, Smart Buy and Our CIOs tion, including using social networking to support acquisition programs that leverage the improve communications and collaboration government’s buying power to reduce costs and around innovation make procurement more efficient. They think • Establish agency CTOs to continue the focus that Smart Buy has been a solid success, and on innovation that holds much promise. CIOs say • Use open-source applications and solutions the concept of a Federal eMall is sound, but that to spur innovation they do not know enough about its operational • Apply crowd sourcing to innovation, and details to make any definitive comments. improve its use through better communications Process streamlining and collaboration, open source and competitions Streamlining activities are designed to make • Do outreach to world-class organizations to processes and systems more efficient and effec- help import innovation (several CIOs say that tive. Our CIOs say they support and are involved the White House conference between private in efforts to streamline systems that have direct sector executives and federal CIOs drove home interface with citizens and other constituents. the core strategy of innovation)
  17. 17. 15 • CIOs serving health care organizations say that • The IT budget needs to be better aligned IT innovation is critical to making health care to priorities and expected results more responsive, affordable and universal • Performance frameworks should be specific in calling out and motivating transforma- Resources tional results Many CIOs say that their IT activities continue • Split missions across several agencies continue to receive too few resources to provide their to be a significant performance challenge organizations with expected levels of support. • Best practices need to be shared and collabora- Although several CIOs expect modest increases in tion across organizations encouraged budget, none anticipates getting all the resources • Centers of excellence like OMB’s Lines of needed to get their jobs done well. As a result, Business deliver better performance, and should CIOs agree that they will have to make trade-offs, be supported and continued as part of an overall even though this will increase the risk that some performance and accountability strategy components of their programs will suffer less than optimal performance or even failure. Department- and agency-level CIOs also commented on their own organiza- Performance management tions’ performance and accountability systems: and accountability We asked CIOs to describe the federal perfor- • Most CIOs say they have fairly current enterprise mance management/accountability environment and IT strategic plans, though most of these need and how they try to drive performance and updating to include new administration priorities accountability within their respective agencies. • Most link their operational plans to strategic plans and measure performance Government-wide • Several report say they cannot make a good link When asked about a performance framework, between IT plans and enterprise strategic plans some CIOs harked back to the Bush administra- • Several use balanced scorecards to measure tion’s President’s Management Agenda. Most CIOs performance and internal dashboards to com- think that the Obama administration has not yet municate results put in place and communicated a similar well-de- • Several use portal or collaboration tools fined framework of performance management and to communicate performance and evaluate accountability. Despite this, CIOs say they have a operational results against plans good take on where the current administration is • Several measure customer satisfaction headed with performance and accountability. They with IT services just are not clear about the details. • Most cannot link individual performance plans Our CIOs offered some general observations to IT operational and strategic plans; several about what the federal IT performance and said this is a goal and described their vision accountability program has been, is now and of how the performance system would work should become: • Many lamented the lack of responsive, accurate financial management systems in their agencies, • The current system is based too much on com- which causes them to struggle in developing pliance and not enough on outcomes and results cost baselines and measuring cost performance
  18. 18. 16 • One said that his ability to create an envi- However, they are concerned with what one ronment of shared goals and performance CIO called “dysfunctional” behaviors resulting measures has led to successful use of blended from gaps in the GSA senior leadership team. workforce teams of employees and contractors Most CIOs say their acquisition organizations • One uses a measure/review/improve cycle to are overworked because of shortages of qualified manage processes that provide direct support staff and excessive oversight. One CIO suggests to customers that innovation is punished in federal acquisi- Acquisition tion organizations. Acquisition and procurement have been less Some CIOs report positive signs such as more of a problem since the mid-1990s because acquisition personnel coming on board and reor- of reforms that streamlined their processes ganizations that better align acquisitions groups and authorities and enabled CIOs to pro- and their customers. Still, several CIOs remain cure needed technology with shorter cycles. concerned that the pool of experienced acquisi- Although the rules of the procurement game tion personnel is not growing fast enough and no longer handicap federal CIOs, executing that agencies will continue to “poach” acquisi- acquisitions well and getting desired results is tion staff from each other. Most CIOs also say still a significant challenge. they recognize that the personnel problem is One survey participant says that, from the not limited to their agency’s acquisition group; CIO perspective, the goal of acquisition is to CIO offices desperately need more qualified and minimize the time gap between when a need experienced program managers and contracting is identified and when its solution is made officer representatives. operational. Other CIOs in the survey agree Our CIOs are also firm that more acquisition with that; here are their comments on what reform is not necessary. Instead, they advocate is working in acquisition, its problems and implementing the current statutes and regula- new directions coming out of the Office of tions properly, which one CIO describes as a Management and Budget. basic “blocking and tackling” issue. Contrary As mentioned above under the heading “Cost to what some critics believe, says one CIO, the Management and Containment,” the CIOs type of contract vehicle used for IT products support consolidated federal buying methods and services is not a problem. Used in the right such as Smart Buy, and federal eMall. situations, says this CIO, cost plus fixed fee Several report good results using Smart Buy (CPFF), time and materials (TM) and firm fixed for enterprise licensing and service agreements, price (FFP) are all appropriate approaches. All but are less familiar with operational details CIOs agree that improvement requires effective of and federal eMall. CIOs say that leadership and adequate, trained staff, plus good GSA plays an important role in the product and governance over the acquisition process. service acquisition and provisioning processes.
  19. 19. 17 Effect of the Recovery Act The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) channeled new funds into some federal IT programs and created new data collection and reporting requirements for others. Only one in ten CIOs in our State of the CIO Survey reported that the Recovery Act had an impact on their IT budget, either with funds from the Act or other sources. As shown in Figure 3, about half of the CIOs interviewed say they have been involved in Recovery Act planning and implementation within their department or agency, with 20 percent serving on their entity’s leadership steering group and 32 percent carrying out assigned tasks related to the Act. Figure 3: What has your involvement been within your agency Monitoring and reporting the with Recovery Act planning and implementation? use and impact of recovery 50% funds is important to the Obama 45% administration and Congress, so we had anticipated that CIOs 40% would be more involved in leading 35% Recovery Act activities. Instead, 30% it appears that government chief 25% 50% financial officers (CFOs) led the 20% efforts and used the financial 15% 33% systems they control as the main 10% reporting mechanism. 17% 5% 0% 0 Serving as Serving as part of Leading assignments No involvement the agency lead agency leadership that involve IT steering group
  20. 20. 18 State of the CIO Survey The State of the CIO Survey is a series of short, Barriers to progress closed-ended questions about CIOs’ demographic We asked CIOs to rank order the greatest barriers to increased effectiveness of CIO offices. As shown backgrounds, professional profiles and opinions. in Table 2, in FY 2010 the top barrier is “shortage This is the sixth year we have included these of time for strategic planning and thinking,” which questions, which allows us to do trend analysis. has risen in importance every year since FY 2007. The latest boost to the time shortage problem may be FY 2010’s second greatest barrier, “new exter- Time in office nally directed initiatives.” In our opinion, this “new The first question we asked was “How long initiatives” issue reflects the significant change in have you been in your current job?” Figure 4 direction and strategy introduced by the Obama combines the FY 2007 through FY 2010 administration, especially with respect to open and responses that CIOs gave to this question. transparent government. This is not to say that the We expected that CIOs interviewed in FY 2010 new initiatives are bad; it simply means that they would have served less time in their jobs than consume a good deal of CIOs’ time. CIOs in previous years because of the transition to a new presidential administration. Figure 4 A second thing to note about Table 2 is the persis- bears this out: in FY 2010, one-third of CIOs had tence of some of the other barriers. “Conflicting less than one year’s tenure in their office, versus priorities among program units” has remained 8 percent in FY 2009. However, those serving in the top five barriers for five years, along with four or more years in their current position also a related problem of “aligning IT efforts with increased from 25 percent in FY 2009 to 33 per- agency goals.” “Inadequate budgets” has been cent in FY 2010, a slight growth in what appears on the list four out of the past five years. New to be a cadre of experienced career CIOs. CIOs should be aware of these seemingly unshak- able problems, which appear to be part of the job Figure 4: How long have you been in of the federal government’s top IT executives. your current job? Value of IT initiatives FY 2010 33% 17% 17% 33% Table 3 shows how our CIOs ranked the initiatives they think will yield the greatest value to their orga- FY 2009 8% 13% 54% 25% nizations in FY 2010. As with the barriers shown FY 2008 28% 44% 19% 9% in Table 2, there is a good deal of consistency in the items that make the top five list, although the year- FY 2007 33% 9% 29% 29% to-year rankings differ somewhat. For example, since FY 2007 CIOs say that the two highest-value Response initiatives relate to integrating systems and pro- Less than 1 year Between 2 and 4 years cesses and to implementing security and privacy measures. In FY 2010, transparency and perfor- Between 1 and 2 years More than 4 years mance management initiatives joined the top five, indicating that the Obama administration’s goals are rising on the CIO radar screen.
  21. 21. 19 Table 2: Greatest barriers to increased effectiveness of CIO offices Initiative FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 Shortage of time for strategic thinking/planning 4 4 2 1 Conflicting priorities among program units 1 1 1 1 4 Lack of key skill sets 4 5 Which are the Inadequate budgets 2 2 3 3 3 greatest barriers Difficulty proving the value to your offices’ of IT 5 increased Aligning IT efforts with effectiveness? agency goals 3 2 5 (Rated on a Ineffective communication scale of 1 to with users/unrealistic 2 5, with 1 being customer expectations greatest barrier) Other – Culture 5 Overwhelming pace of technology change 4 Disconnects with executive peers 5 New externally directed initiatives 2 Table 3: Initiatives that will provide greatest value Initiative FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 Integrating systems and processes 2 1 1 2 1 Strategic planning/aligning IT and agency goals 4 4 Which initiatives will be of the Project management greatest value to improvements 1 5 4 3 3 your organization Implementing security in FY 2010? and privacy measures 3 1 2 1 2 (Rated on a scale of 1 to Lowering costs 5 3 3 4 4 5, with 1 being Line of Business initiatives 5 5 highest value) Staff development, retention and recruitment 5 Transparency and performance management 5 initiatives
  22. 22. 20 Observations from industry Earlier sections of this report reflect the views We are delighted to see elements of each of these of federal CIOs. This one presents opinions from observations included in the federal IT strategy represented in the FY 2011 budget. In the spirit industry executives who represent member companies of government/industry partnership, and with a of TechAmerica. Here, we want to offer observations sense of shared ownership for federal IT, we offer that may help federal CIOs with their strategies, these observations in 2010. implementations and operations. Explain the vision In budget documents and pronouncements Last year, we offered a set of observations the Obama administration has identified the that dealt mainly with management structure, initiatives it expects to focus on for the next approach and perspective, which included few years. This vision of the future needs to be the following: presented more robustly in order to gain the full effect of the administration’s strategy and • Strong leadership drives change to engage the collective energies of the federal • Employ laser-sharp focus CIO community and the industry that serves it. • Demand and verify results We believe the administration should broaden • Achieve good IT governance strategy discussion to describe more fully the • Fix IT infrastructure problems and issues it is intended to address. • Fund priority initiatives This includes describing the desired end state • Continue to standardize and consolidate in enough detail that the federal IT com- • Strengthen the blended workforce munity can visualize it. Explain the full range of expected benefits, and then connect them to expected performance and results, to the budget to gain them, to the vision and to how people are to address the underlying problems. Proceeding with this strategy-in-depth approach will improve understanding and unleash the federal IT community to achieve the vision. Position Cloud Computing Cloud Computing is an important initiative in the federal IT budget. It is being evaluated this year, with deployment starting in FY 2011. In keeping with our general observation about explaining the vision, we believe the adminis- tration can lessen confusion and make greater headway on Cloud Computing by describing in detail how and where this technology should be considered for use over the next several years.
  23. 23. 21 Add context to open government Improve acquisition IT is a critical element in transforming “open through resources and government” from presidential pledge to admin- operational excellence istration policy to government-wide programs As was stated earlier in this report’s section on and culture. As a concept, open government has acquisition, the important challenges do not been broadly defined and targeted for substantial involve contract type or the statutes governing the innovation. However, to make optimal prog- process. Instead, they are about the quality of the ress, we believe the administration should add contracting process, administration and opera- context to the concept. This includes supplying tions. We think the government should continue more details about the shape, form and benefits to acquire and develop a capable and sufficient expected for open government in the near term. workforce to handle acquisitions. Also, look for Because open government will be transformative, ways to streamline acquisition operations and the administration should define a longer-term improve their performance. Consider including view for it, including desired results and priority in solicitation documents a description of the focus areas. linkage between an acquisition and the soliciting organization’s mission and strategy. Also, add to Define the target state solicitations inducements such as incentives or for cybersecurity evaluation criteria in order to motivate contractors Cybersecurity has been a critical challenge for to leverage existing investments and infrastructure. the last decade, and will continue to be into the future. As shown in Table 3, CIOs consider Work with the Office of Personnel cybersecurity a top-value initiative. There has Management to improve the been much debate about the appropriate level of IT workforce focus on compliance activities versus operational Government has a rare—even historic—oppor- activities, but for now we will set that aside for tunity with respect to human capital. Everyone something we think is more fundamental: the concerned understands that workforce issues are administration should create a roadmap for critical. Many federal employees are at or near achieving the appropriate level of operational retirement; the recession makes federal employ- security. The map needs to include the envi- ment look more attractive; and the administration sioned level of consolidation and standardiza- and its new leadership at OPM want significant tion, how and where third-party services (like change in government. Seize the moment and cloud) should be employed, the role of Thin work with OPM to create a better IT workforce Clients, how mobile devices should be deployed environment. In doing so, government organiza- and secured, the appropriate use and security tions should use existing best practices such as for removable storage media, required moni- those found in the Department of Defense, to toring and incident response facilities and other train employees and develop new leaders. In addi- practical issues. tion, push the use of technology-based tools to streamline administrative process and for training.
  • tanyacharbonneau

    Apr. 13, 2011
  • joachimw

    Jan. 15, 2011
  • JeromeHarrison

    Mar. 30, 2010


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