The Right Investments in IT

Budget cutbacks demand that agencies make the best choices as they implement technology.

Shrinking budgets are narrowing the margin for error as agencies invest in technology. But IT’s proven record of reducing costs and improving mission performance means those investments still must be made.

As the article "Federal Agencies Dive into Big Data" shows, agencies are just scratching the surface of some technologies. Even with massive budget pressure, the Obama administration has invested $200 million in its Big Data Research and Development initiative.

“This is an investment area for the country, and all the agencies have to play their part,” says Suzi Iacono, deputy assistant director for the National Science Foundation’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate and co-chair of the federal Big Data Senior Steering Group.

While most Big Data projects are still relatively new, other federal investments are bearing fruit. Mobile computing is starting to pay dividends, as the article "At Arlington National Cemetery, 'The Old Guard' Embraces New Technology" spells out, helping agencies tackle such diverse challenges as fighting homelessness, inspecting nuclear power plants and mapping Arlington National Cemetery. "How Device-Tracking Technology Helps Agencies Keep Tabs on Mobile Devices" details how agencies are protecting their mobile investments.

Efficiency and Compliance

Other articles throughout this issue show how important it is for agencies to invest their resources wisely.

"How to Re-Energize Government Buildings to Meet Sustainability Goals" explains how investments in technology and implementation of best practices can reduce energy costs in federal buildings while enhancing sustainability.

And in his column "For Agencies, the Intersection of Technology and Compliance Is Complex," the National Security Agency’s John M. DeLong spells out how investments in technology must be balanced with federal regulation compliance.

One investment many agencies may be considering is a move to Windows 8. Our product review reports that the new OS brings a dramatic new look and useful enhancements.

<p>Image courtesy of joesive47 / <a href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net" target="_blank">FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>
Feb 19 2013