Northern Virginia Technology Council | Press Room | U.S. Chief Performance Officer Jeff Zients Announces Five-Part Federal IT Improvement Plan at Last Friday's Titans Breakfast

November 22, 2010

U.S. Chief Performance Officer Jeff Zients Announces Five-Part Federal IT Improvement Plan at Last Friday's Titans Breakfast

On Friday, November 19, more than 540 attendees came out to the Hilton McLean for the second event of NVTC's 2010-2011 Titans series featuring Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget and the first U.S. Chief Performance Officer Jeff Zients. During his keynote remarks, Zients, who was introduced by George Swygert, regional president of the event's signature platinum sponsor Wachovia, A Wells Fargo Company, announced a new plan for transforming how the federal government builds, procures and manages federal IT projects

Jeff Zients, U.S Chief Performance Officer
In his remarks, Zients described five structural changes for IT improvement, developed by the Obama administration to help the federal government achieve productivity gains similar to those seen in the private sector over the past two decades. First, the government will align the budget and acquisitions with the technology cycle. Between increasing budget flexibility and speeding up acquisitions, Zients plans to eliminate the structural disconnect between the government's acquisition process and the technology cycle, starting by identifying pilot projects in which to develop a framework for increased budget flexibility and greater oversight.

Next, in order to strengthen IT program management, Zients announced that the federal government is creating a formal career track for professional IT program managers. They will not place a program manager for an IT project, until the program management teams are hardwired into the agency's organizational structure.

The third structural change announced by Zients is to streamline governance and increase accountability through changes such as reconstituting Investment Review Boards and using the TechStat review model launched by U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra to drive interventions and decision making on specific projects and provide meaningful oversight.

Fourth, Zients announced that the government would be increasing its engagement with the IT community, in part by removing barriers to communication that are hurting productivity.

Finally, Zients announced a new "cloud first" policy in which the federal government will seek cloud-based light technologies and shared solutions to adopt before considering the development of new government-specific technologies. In addition, he announced a 40 percent reduction of the federal government's data center footprint by 2015.

Concluding his remarks, Zients shared his six-month execution plan for the new federal IT strategy.

After his keynote, Zients was joined on stage by Kundra for a question-and-answer session with the NVTC audience. Zients and Kundra discussed their priorities for the new "cloud first" policy, data center consolidation and aligning IT acquisition with business needs.

U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra with Zients during the Q&A
Signature Platinum Sponsor: Wachovia, a Wells Fargo Company
Platinum Sponsors: Comcast Business Class; Consumer Electronics Association; Latisys-Ashburn; Transformation Systems, Inc.
Gold Sponsors: BB&T Capital Markets | Windsor Group; Cox Business Services; Harris IT Services; Neustar, Inc.; The Washington Post- Capital Business
Silver Sponsors: Alion Science and Technology; Apptix; Fairfax County Economic Development Authority; ICF International; Korn/Ferry International; Marymount University; Micron Technology; Protiviti/RHI; Serco; Telos Corporation; TRAINING SOLUTIONS, INC.; Travelers Insurance Company, United Bank; University of Phoenix
Media Partner: SmartCEO
Media Sponsor: Capital Business