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FCW : January and February 2017
VENKATAPATHI “PV” PUVVADA, president of Unisys Federal, was FCW’s 2015 Eagle award winner. A new administration can provoke anxiety, but it is also an opportunity to reassess how we’ve conducted the business of government, change our priorities to support new initia- tives and embrace new practices to meet new challenges. Although much remains to be seen, I would like to offer the fol- lowing predictions based on my observations and conversations with peers in our community. 1. The new administration will continue to accelerate the gov- ernment’s use of social media. President Donald Trump and many on his team have used social media quite effectively to speak directly to citizens before and after the election. That trend will accelerate agencies’ use of social media to communi- cate more with the public, resulting in obvious benefits. But it will also require agencies to become savvier about how they use social media. As a result, agencies will scramble to hire social media experts and obtain tools and analytics to measure the success of those efforts. 2. A civilian hiring freeze is like- l y. In the past few months, we saw a frenzy of hiring as civilian agen- cies prepared for the new admin- istration to freeze the number of federal employees. That could have a significant impact on areas such as procurement, where the workforce is already overburdened. Of course, we’ll have to wait and see what such a policy might entail, but we can assume that the federal IT commu- nity will need to adapt by prioritiz- ing its most critical work and assign- ing resources accordingly. 3. Delivering IT on budget and on time will become the top metric for assessing the acquisi- tion process. As exemplified by Trump’s comments on some specific government programs, there will be a huge focus on delivering value without delays or cost overruns. We can expect a president who prizes his reputation as a tough negotiator to emphasize that with the federal IT community. Federal workers and contractors will be expected to pro- actively assess risks and be quick to react and change course if things go wrong. Combined with the need to embrace new technologies, that approach will spur an uptick in agile management processes and an accelerated use of techniques such as DevOps, agile development and real-time risk registers. 4. There will be greater activ- ity related to economic growth. Trump has promised to create broad-based economic prosperity, so we’ll likely see creative public/ private models to spur new invest- ments in infrastructure. Our com- munity can play a vital role in pro- viding the technology, systems and services that underpin the strategy for federal, state and local agencies and for private entities. Our community should also focus on developing IT talent in diverse locations, especially in rural America, rather than concentrating it around the Beltway. 5. The U.S. will continue devel- oping offensive cyberattack capabilities. With state actors grab- bing headlines for launching cyberat- tacks against the U.S. and its allies, we can expect the National Security Agency and the Defense Department to increase their efforts to develop more offensive cyber capabilities in response. Those efforts will con- centrate on protecting the country’s critical infrastructure, government information and activities such as political campaigns. As with any change in adminis- tration, we can expect bumps in the road. Many new leaders will come from outside government and must get used to its unique chal- lenges, while federal employees must become acclimated to the new leadership. But despite the challenges, I predict that the federal IT com- munity will come together — as it always has — and achieve more great things throughout the year and beyond. n 5 predictions for federal IT in 2017 As the Trump team takes control, here are some of the changes that the federal technology community can expect The federal IT community will need to prioritize its most critical work and assign resources accordingly. Commentary | VENKATAPATHI “PV ” PUVVADA January/February 2017 FCW.COM 15 0217fcw_015.indd 15 1/24/17 9:30 AM
November and December 2016