FEDTECH: What changes have you seen in IT priorities?
Shive: First, agile delivery. The public demands and expects high-tech services. The federal government cannot spend months on investment decisions and take years before delivering products and services. Agencies are now focusing on smaller implementations and building proofs of concept and prototypes before scaling to the final implementation.
Then there’s customer experience. Customers expect the same easy and intuitive services from the government that they receive when they interact with private industry. The administration’s recent customer experience executive order is critical for transforming customer interactions and rebuilding trust with the federal government.
As the past few years have shown, traditional approaches to cybersecurity and network defense are no longer commensurate to the threats we face as a government. We need to raise the security bar, integrating zero-trust concepts into everything we do at the IT, security and assurance levels.
As for the future of digital work, the pandemic has forced agencies to rethink their workforce strategies. At GSA, we’re thinking about the future of digital work and building upon the tools our employees already possess to connect with colleagues from any location.
Finally, there is a constant stream of new and emerging services and technology that we’re evaluating to support our business lines. The Internet of Things — the ever-growing number of smart devices connected to the internet — make it easy to connect to the world around us. But IoT devices also share a lot of valuable information. At GSA, we’re investing in technology to drive smart buildings. Big Data and analytics are becoming more important, and we’ll need advanced tools not only to collect, store and retrieve the ever-growing amount of data, but also to conduct predictive data analysis and support advancements in AI and machine learning.
These two technologies, by the way, will continue to transform the way we use technology in the future. As machines learn and act intelligently, it will transform the way we, as humans, use technology to support everyday events.