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FCW : May 30, 2016
ACQUIREshow.com | June 8-9 | Register Now! S23 Familiar ideas tend to have familiar results. When it comes to improving the quality and cost- effectiveness of federal programs, incremental changes to existing policies and procedures will only get us so far. That is why thought-leadership is so essential to this community. Thought-leadership is difficult to define but easy to recognize. It is not about providing answers but about helping people to see a question in a new way—or asking a new question altogether. It is about facilitating conversation that explores potentially fruitful lines of inquiry and creates a space in which new ideas might emerge. Each day, the ACQUIRE show features plenary sessions with thought-leaders from across the federal community tackling some of the community’s toughest problems. These sessions will not provide pat answers but they will spark those conversations that need to happen for progress to be made. Legacy IT certainly has proven to be a tough problem. During the last ten years, technology has evolved rapidly, providing agencies with a dizzying array of new solutions for managing IT operations, delivering IT services and meeting mission requirements. Cloud, virtualization, mobility, big data and other technologies represent big changes in how agencies do business. In theory, at least. Unfortunately, many agencies have been slow to modernize their underlying infrastructure, which makes it difficult to get the full benefit of these newer technologies. The perplexing question is: What’s the hold up? Clearly, budget constraints are a factor. With that in mind, the Obama administration, as part of its fiscal 2017 budget request, proposed a $3.1 billion modernization fund to facilitate the replacement of legacy IT systems. House lawmakers did not include the proposal in its budget resolution. In any case, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) sees a deeper issue. In an e-mail to FCW, Hurd wrote, “A working capital fund focusing on IT modernization could be an important tool in making federal agencies more efficient and ultimately more secure, but in order to ensure robust system hygiene, CIOs and agency heads need to be planning for continuous modernization within their existing budget process.” In short, modernization must become part of the culture at federal agencies. How will that happen? In “Legacy IT: Keep It or Kick It?” a panel of C-level federal executives will tackle the question of how agencies balance the need to maintain legacy IT systems with their goal to move into the future. Acquisition is a related area of concern. Despite several waves of acquisition reform over the last two decades, the federal government is still struggling to develop a more cost-effective and agile procurement system—one that fosters a culture of innovation, rather than a culture of processes and paperwork. Numerous initiatives are underway to bring about change. For example, the General Services Administration is spearheading the Category Management program, which is a cross-government effort to consolidate spending in key categories. Meanwhile, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) has introduced the Acquisition Agility Act, which looks to help the armed services speed technology to the field. In a panel titled “Innovations in Acquisition,” a group of CIOs and senior acquisition executives will discuss the on-going initiatives and emerging opportunities that could make the procurement system work for agencies, rather than make agencies work for the procurement system. The ACQUIRE show recognizes the importance of industry vendors in making government programs a success. The Professional Services Council, which represents the government technology and professional services industry, is a founding partner of ACQUIRE. During the two-day event, PSC will host a number of key plenary sessions, including a presentation on its annual survey on acquisition policy. This special report draws on personal member-conducted interviews of federal CIOs and other senior government officials throughout the federal government to get an understanding of their concerns and priorities. Also look for the Washington Technology Industry Days at ACQUIRE (see p. S26). These sessions will provide small businesses with an inside edge on the evolving business prospects at major civilian and defense agencies. In each small business intensive session, leading agency officials will describe their priorities, buying habits and specific contracts. Finally, the Small Business Administration will offer sessions focused on helping government and industry alike to navigate the federal small business landscape. MODERNIZATION, ACQUISITION: New Ideas Needed ACQUIRE 2016 / CONFERENCE & EXPO SPONSORED CONTENT ACQUIRE Gets Down to Business Acquire_FCW2_10_pager.indd 23 5/4/16 10:39 AM
May 15, 2016
June 15, 2016