Administration IT budget
for FY 2016 $79.49 billion
- FITARA implementation and acquisition reform
- Efficiency savings
U.S. Deputy CIO Lisa Schlosser said Office of Management and Budget is working every angle from acquisition to development cycles when it comes to IT modernization.
“This isn’t just the CIO, this isn’t just the [chief financial officer's] team, it’s not just acquisition,” Schlosser said. “To be successful in technology, this has to be a collaborative effort across these teams.”
While FITARA does hold CIOs more accountable than other officers, Schlosser stressed that OMB knows that unless their counterparts — especially from finance and procurement — are on the same page, results are going to be sparse.
“We recognize there is no way that we can actually take advantage of technology the right way without the CIO, CFO budget officers, as well as the acquisition officers, all working together,” she said.
A key aspect Schlosser wants agencies to focus on is a better understanding of contract-related costs. Looking at numbers from November 2015, OMB found that an achievable 10-to-15 percent efficiency savings in the way the government manages and pays for its IT contracts would result in an annual cost reduction between $2.5 billion and $4 billion.
“If we really take the time to look at and understand our data around our contracts that we have, around the goods and services we procure, there are tons of opportunities for efficiencies where you can take those savings and reinvest that budget into the move toward more modern technologies,” Schlosser said.
OMB is also looking at how to rein in the maintenance costs of data centers and legacy systems. As of November 2015, the government is spending more than three-quarters (just under 76 percent) of its nearly $80 billion IT budget on operations and maintenance of current systems. Schlosser said she would like to see the spend on new tech development rise to the industry standard of 40 percent.
“To be perfectly honest, there are not many agencies that really should be hosting your own data centers these days,” she said. “You shouldn’t be hosting your own platform. There are cloud services now that allow you to perform these common functions across your organization in a much more effective way.”