A new report from IDC Government Insights underscores agencies’ frequent need for external support in implementing new technologies. Systems integrators play a key role in helping agencies become more agile and responsive in understanding citizen needs.
“Many systems integrators are deploying agile processes and assisting agencies in the design of user-friendly offerings for the data-driven customer, with the goal of driving better mission outcomes,” says Adelaide O’Brien, research director of IDC Government Insights and author of IDC Marketscape: U.S. Systems Integrators Serving the Federal Government 2016 Vendor Assessment. “While some government organizations have adopted agile software development to varying degrees, progress for many has been slow.”
IDC predicts that by 2018, 90 percent of all industry projects will be rooted in experimentation, speed and quality. However, O’Brien notes that federal agencies lag behind the private sector in this regard. “To achieve and excel in mission outcomes, government organizations must achieve excellence in agility as a regular part of their operating mode,” she says.
Embracing a Startup Mentality
To that end, agencies that want to embrace agile development can find help from the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Service. The service established a civic consultancy for government known as 18F, which uses agile development processes to rapidly build, buy and share digital services.
18F’s software developers, designers, writers and security pros have worked on a variety of projects for agencies. Some of the successes include improving the immigration and visa process for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; building a new website and application programming interface to support the Education Department’s College Scorecard; and making Federal Election Commission data more accessible.