1. The Biden Administration Will Put Its Stamp on Federal IT
The most obvious and potentially significant shift that will occur in 2021 in federal IT is the transition to a new administration.
While some federal agencies will get new, politically appointed CIOs and there is likely to be a new federal CIO and CISO, much of the federal IT workforce is composed of career civil servants who will be looking to see which federal technology policies will remain in place, which news ones will be rolled out and how IT investment and priorities might change.
Dave McClure, principal director of federal CIO advisory services for Accenture Federal Services, says he expects we “continued strong support for IT modernization, particularly as it relates to high-priority policy areas such as healthcare protection and delivery, climate change analysis, and economic recovery.”
“This will accelerate the current trends toward digital government, improved customer experiences, stronger cyber resilience and agility in creating better customer experiences,” McClure adds. “Transparency and accountability for modernization outcomes will continue to be emphasized.”
Loren DeJonge Schulman, vice president for research and evaluation at the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service, home to the Center for Presidential Transition, tells FedTech that certain initiatives are likely going to continue. Those include the IT Modernization Centers of Excellence program, which was codified into law in December 2020, and the Technology Modernization Fund. Other areas are going to continue to receive funding and interest and that may accelerate adoption.
“The focus on modernizing tech is likely to continue under the Biden administration,” Schulman says. “I’d expect that some of the major tech initiatives that the Trump administration put in place will also keep going, such as the development of new technologies and emerging tech like artificial intelligence or quantum computing, and also the focus on encouraging agencies to use technologies like this. I think they’ve actually had some really great effect with a lot of innovation during this COVID timeline.”