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FCW : January 2016
24 January 2016 FCW.COM FCW Roundtable Jonathan Alboum CIO Agriculture Department Laura Auletta Executive Director of Policy and Acquisition Workforce Department of Homeland Security Richard Beutel Principal Cyrrus Analytics and Former Senior Adviser and Counsel for Acquisition Policy House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Sonny Bhagowalia CIO Treasury Department Dan Chenok Executive Director IBM Center for the Business of Government and Former Chair Industry Advisory Council Fawn Freeman Director Mission Investment Solutions Division Environmental Protection Agency Adrian Gardner CIO Federal Emergency Management Agency Joyce Hunter Deputy CIO Agriculture Department Steve Krauss Director of Category Management Strategic Execution General Ser vices Administration Elena Larsen Associate Director Mission Investment Solutions Division Environmental Protection Agency Bill Lochten National Vice President Software AG Government Solutions Richard McKinney CIO Transportation Department Joanie Newhart Associate Administrator of Acquisition Workforce Programs Office of Management and Budget Kshemendra Paul Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment Office of the Director of National Intelligence Stephen Rice CIO Transportation Security Administration David Shive CIO General Ser vices Administration Richard Spires CEO Learning Tree and Former CIO Department of Homeland Security Chris Steel Chief Solutions Architect Software AG Government Solutions Kathleen Turco Chief Financial Officer Veterans Health Administration David Wennergren Executive Vice President of Operations and Technology Professional Ser vices Council and Former Assistant Deputy Chief Management Officer Defense Department Note: Software AG Government Solutions sponsored the roundtable gathering. The discussion was led by FCW Editor-in-Chief Troy K. Schneider and 1105 Public Sector Media Group Chief Content Officer Anne Armstrong. The recap on these pages is strictly an editorial product. Neither Software AG nor any of the roundtable participants had input beyond their Dec. 3 comments. Discussion participants “Either I take the leap or I don’t,” he added. “We keep put- ting Band-Aids on it, keep it running. We never rail against where we really need to go. We’ve got to begin to change this conversation as far as what our role is and meet strategic goals of our individual entities and organizations.” Making FITARA’s reforms stick, one industry participant said, must “be a key transition issue. The next set of agency heads have to come in with part of their president’s management agenda being, ‘We’re going to care about FITARA, we’re going to have the CIOs’ back, we’re going to work across agencies.’” Another participant, however, pointed out that support under the next administration might not be guaranteed. “Regardless of which party it is...it’s so easy to throw the baby out with the bath water,” he said. The challenge for CIOs between now and Election Day is to clearly make the case for the next administra- tion that “there are things that matter that you need to continue, even if you want to rebrand or change the name. These are the issues that you’ll need to take on right away.” One CIO added that, too often, “we don’t do a good job storytelling as to what and why. What is the outcome that we desire? All our metrics are all very tactical or output-based.” Others were less worried about future support and pointed to Congress’ continued focus on FITARA. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) has made it clear he will ensure the law he co-authored is implemented, one participant said, and “it’s a bipartisan effort.” “In the short term,” another participant said, “it’s going to provide the spotlight we need to manage the administration. It doesn’t matter who comes into the White House next. This is still going to be important.” “Having said that,” he added, “the sense of urgency is wel- comed and necessary. The folks in this community laying solid foundation post-2016 is critical.” And another participant, who was actively involved in the 2008 presidential transition, said that if the community works together in 2016, it can go a long way toward insulating federal IT from any politics that might arise. “When the politicals came in,” he recalled, “there was a sense of camaraderie across the CIO career-employee community. There’s an opportunity now to build that same esprit de corps [and present the incoming administration with a clear mes- sage:] Here’s how things really ought to operate.... You can focus on your priorities that you came to do and not worry about IT infrastructure and cyber incidents nearly as much. We’ve got the ball.” n 0116fcw_016-024.indd 24 1/6/16 2:32 PM
November and December 2015