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FCW : June 15, 2014
is much less about scaling innovation than it is about delivery. Keeping the door open 18F could also have a negative impact on a wide range of companies that have creative ideas and talent but are required to operate within the con nes of the very system 18F is able to circumvent. The rigidity of the current system often stymies the efforts of both new and long-standing contractors to bring innovative solu- tions to government. But who is to say that, given the same exibilities and freedoms afforded 18F, any of those sources couldn t provide equal or even better results? And how would an 18F fare under the same policies and pro- cesses to which others must adhere? 18F has the potential for real impact and value, but to ful ll that potential requires that the program amend its concept of operations to clarify that as it delivers solutions it will also map all the points along the way that create barriers to success under the normal system. Those lessons should form the basis of aggressive efforts that GSA could help lead to funda- mentally improve the system so that it becomes the truly open, innovative, healthily competitive marketplace we all want it to be. That, more than direct delivery of services, would be consis- tent with GSA s mission and objective of becoming the government s premier acquisition organization. And it could lead to real innovation. Finally, 18F and the State Depart- ment s program ignore vital lessons like those reported by Rivia s Agan. Experi- ence, customer knowledge and insight are essential to driving real change and innovation. Those traits are common to virtually all the most successful inno- vators. Given the complex and arcane processes under which government operates, which are not limited to acqui- sition, that knowledge forms a crucial bridge between forward-looking, expe- rienced rms and new entrants that bring creative and disruptive capabili- ties. Although most of the other innova- tion initiatives leave the door open to or embrace that reality, 18F and the State Department s program, as currently con- structed, turn their backs on it. The extraordinary possibilities pre- sented by the pace and scope of tech- nology change will likely only work to the government s and taxpayer s advantage if the people creating dis- ruptive capacities either have extensive working knowledge of navigating the government maze and customer mis- sion needs or can partner with others who have that knowledge and experi- ence. The combination of the lessons learned through 18F and the recogni- tion of the value of such bridges could be enormously powerful tools in the creation of a healthy, competitive mar- ketplace that encourages and supports such linkages. That marketplace could form a significant catalyst for the kind of change the acquisition system so badly ONLINE REPORT SPONSORED BY: RRessearcchh Reeppoort Virtualization brings agencies a wealth of benefits The future of the data center is software-defined Virtualization, increasing data drive innovation Agencies face daunting storage challenges Storage management options abound topics include to learn more, visit: FCW.com/2014VirtualizationPlaybook June 15, 2014 FCW.COM 19
June 30, 2014
July 15, 2014