The President, in his 2013 inaugural address, charged us to, “harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, reach higher.” To achieve this goal in the current fiscal environment, the Administration has been focused on innovating with less and strategically investing in information technology (IT).
In March 2012, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) initiated PortfolioStat. Agencies across the Federal government undertook a data-driven effort to examine their IT portfolios to identify common areas of spending with the goal of decreasing duplication and driving down costs. Through this process, agencies identified more than $2.5 billion in spending reductions that could be achieved from FY 2013 through FY 2015.
Today, Acting Director Jeff Zients and I signed a memo commencing this year’s PortfolioStat process and outlining improvements from last year. PortfolioStat will be an ongoing effort, growing each year to incorporate lessons learned and changes in technology. The upgraded process streamlines agency data collection and improves analytics, consolidates the agency’s strategic IT direction and management improvements into one central plan, and holds agencies accountable for the goals set through last year’s process.
A key lesson learned is that agencies should evolve their IT portfolios to deliver IT “as a service.” Unlike traditional capital models where assets are purchased for individual projects, the service delivery model entails agencies deploying their IT like a business, optimizing it for consumption agency-wide. For example, with cloud computing solutions, agencies have a scalable and transparent way to provision IT services, giving agencies a viable enterprise alternative to often stove-piped, capital IT investments.
The results from PortfolioStat are already significant; by the end this month, we expect agencies to report savings of approximately $300 million. We are committed to continuing PortfolioStat to drive further management improvements, save billions of dollars across the Federal Government, and improve services to Americans through the use of technology.
Steven VanRoekel is the U.S. Chief Information Officer