Can You Top the Federal Digital Strategy?
The United States government has an ambitious, four-part plan to not only use the latest, greatest, most secure and most interoperable tech, but also to use that tech to stay in touch with its citizens. Enterprises in need of a 21st century digital strategy should look no further.
Mon, June 11, 2012
CIO — When you think of agile, forward-looking organizations with customer-focused, coherent enterprisewide digital strategies, what comes to mind? Silicon Valley startups, perhaps? Maybe a few select high technology companies?
How about the United States government?
Surprised? You're not alone. After all, the federal government has the admittedly well-deserved reputation of being bloated, wasteful, slow-moving and frequently dysfunctional. And there's no question the government is truly immense, where bureaucrats and politicians toss around figures in the trillions of dollars without batting an eye.
You'd think such an organization would be the last place to look for a world-class example of an enterprise digital strategy.
Well, think again.
Over the last few years, the Obama administration has been quietly assembling a number of technology initiatives aimed at streamlining expenditures, serving citizens and federal employees, improving security and leveraging 21st century technology trends to the fullest, including mobile technologies, Web application best practices, and modern architectural approaches. Spearheading this effort is Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel, who's using his many years of experience as a software industry executive to drive a comprehensive digital strategy for the entire U.S. government.
If you don't actually work for the government, then why should you care? Here are three reasons:
- If you are a US citizen, then the federal digital strategy signifies a new era of openness and value, as the government leverages technology to serve its citizens in more effective, efficient ways.
- For people around the world, this strategy provides global technology leadership—the United States leading by example rather than by projecting power, which presents a new 21st century paradigm for our role as the only remaining 20th century superpower.
- Most importantly, the federal digital strategy offers a blueprint for any enterprise struggling with similar challenges in an increasingly mobile, technology-centric world. There's no reason why your own digital strategy can't be as good.
Federal Digital Strategy a Reason to Be Optimistic
The federal digital strategy, officially called Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People, is the latest in a series of initiatives from the federal CIO's office to help the government do more with less. This mantra essentially represents an optimistic view of the role of government—through the efficiencies of technology, we as citizens can get more value from our government, even as fiscal pressures lead to ongoing cost cutting. (After all, Americans love talking about reducing government expenditure until it comes to cutting the programs and services we like.)