Enabling Federal IT Innovation and Results through Strategic Buying and Management
Significant challenges exist within the Federal Acquisition environment. How the government acquires Information Technology (IT) is changing from buying IT systems from systems integrators to a service based model. In the future, the Government will move towards obtaining common IT services on a demand basis which will require Government to change from defining requirements to defining required capabilities. A significant challenge will be to balance the apparently competing goals of speed, competition, fairness, innovation, and transparency.
This paper discusses current challenges within the Federal IT Acquisition environment-that includes a diverse, cross-functional team of program, financial, and buying representatives- and makes recommendations for change immediately, and then more systemically over the longer term. Improved IT acquisitions can be measured by "faster time to program impact", rather than the traditional "time to contract issuance" .A spirit of legitimate experimentation is encouraged and is reflected in recommended "quick hits" that investigate appropriate application of Web2.0 tools, leverage aligned processes of grants and contracts, and institute shared "as a service" environments.
This paper was prepared as part of the 2008 ACT-IAC Presidential Transition Project.