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IT Modernization Pushing Ahead in 2019, but Federal Agencies aren’t Preparing the Workforce

IT Modernization
Editorial Team
Written by Editorial Team

In a recent report, ACT-IAC and MeriTalk found that 94 percent of respondents have felt a shift in momentum toward the future state of federal IT. In Reimagining Government IT: An exploration of shared visions and challenges from IT’s biggest players, more than 300 federal finance, IT, and procurement decision makers answered questions about IT modernization and tools and technologies to support it. A key finding, according to an article in FedTech Magazine, was that while 76 percent of respondents expect their IT modernization budgets to increase in fiscal year 2019, few felt that agencies are preparing their workforces for new technologies.

Respondents said that training and workforce development are most needed to achieve modernization, followed by a better understanding of IT needs and requirements, and a clear vision of IT success. Modernization can only succeed with a modern workforce, but only 28 percent of respondents reported feeling very confident in how their agencies are preparing employees for the future of government IT.

At the same time, one out of five respondents expect to see their modernization budgets increase by more than 10 percent for fiscal year 2019. Their priorities for budget dollars include strengthening cybersecurity, modernizing legacy systems, harnessing emerging technologies, and adopting cloud solutions.

The technology tools and solutions respondents feel are most important for the future of federal IT are cybersecurity, data management, infrastructure improvements, and advanced analytics, followed by automation, cloud, and shared services. 

According to NetApp’s Tom Balaban, senior director for the company’s U.S. Public Sector, Civilian, and Intelligence Community, the real question for agencies should be, “What is the impact of NOT leveraging these technologies today?” He went on to explain, “Every day our IT leaders are unable to implement modernization technologies, there are increases in the risks in our legacy systems, expansion of the skills gap of our workforce, and significant increases in the cost of implementing new technologies.  Yes, 2019 must be the year for IT modernization.”

To ensure that budget dollars are well spent, the report recommends that agency leadership recognize the gap that currently exists, “realign priorities, and partner with Human Resources to execute their vision and effectively prepare employees for the future of government IT.”

Read the report, Reimagining Government IT: An exploration of shared visions and challenges from IT’s biggest players, here.

Read the FedTech article here.

About the author

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The GovDataDownload editorial team consists of Shany Seawright, Chelsea Barone, and Margaret Brown. You can reach the team at editors@govdatadownload.com.