Federal Manager's Daily Report

While agencies across the government are significant amounts on IT, most “are not capturing full value from their investments” in part because much of that spending goes toward maintaining siloed legacy systems rather than investing for the future, says a report from the Accenture consulting firm.

“There are varied reasons for this. Budget and administrative constraints, for example, encourage agencies to pursue piecemeal approaches to IT modernization, which tend to be less effective. Spending on the maintenance of legacy IT systems has ballooned as a result. During 2014-19, such spending rose by 13%, to consume nearly 80% of the U.S. government’s total IT spending,” it said.

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Following a survey to which some 350 senior federal IT officials responded, the company said that about a fifth of agencies qualified as “leaders” in IT spending due to their concentration on future-focused procurements such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence, applied them widely in the organization and adapted their organization cultures to use them. On the low end were about the same number of “late adopters” who were more focused on a “patchwork of single-point solutions.”

It noted that two-thirds of executives from agencies in the former group were satisfied with their return on technology investments while that was true of only 16 percent of those in the latter group. Those in the leaders group also are more likely to see higher levels of citizen satisfaction, cost-savings and improved performance, ability to track return on their investment, and gather insights to drive change, it said.

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