“An active shift in the mindset of agency leadership, mission owners, IT practitioners, and oversight bodies” is needed to support the modernization of government IT, according to the final report to the White House of the American Technology Council.
“Federal agencies must consolidate their IT investments and place more trust in services and infrastructure operated by others. Such a change in outlook will allow for greater utilization of shared services, consolidated infrastructure, and cloud-based collaboration tools that can deliver improved functionality and drive cost efficiencies to improve government operations and citizen services,” said the report, done in conjunction with agencies including OMB, DHS, GSA and Commerce.
It said that difficulties in prioritizing resources fo IT modernization, inability to procure services quickly, and technical issues “have resulted in an unwieldy and out-of-date federal IT infrastructure incapable of operating with the agility and security that is required of a multibillion-dollar federal IT enterprise.”
It calls on agencies to aggressively migrate to commercial cloud services, adding that those not suitable for such migration should be modernized to leverage modern security protections. The government also needs to accelerate the adoption of cloud email and collaboration tools, improve and strengthen existing shared services, and provide additional security shared services, it says.
It lays out a series of short-term, medium-term and long-term steps to support network modernization and consolidation and shared services to enable future network architectures. Regarding the former, it said that prior initiatives, while “well-intentioned” have resulted in security implementations that “negatively affect performance and create barriers to use of commercial technology.” Initiatives in the latter area have been “mired by delays and have not yet yielded their full promise” because they have not overcome the traditional model of individual agencies doing their own procurements, it said.