Federal Manager Innovators and What You Can Do to Help

With a bleak future for federalbudgets, it is vital that agencies turn to innovation to accomplish more withfewer resources. MeriTalk, an online community that fosters public-privatedialogues on IT issues, recently surveyed 200 Federal managers on how cuts wereimpacting agency programs and the actions managers have been taking. The study,published April 1st, 2013 “Innovators Anonymous,” found greatchallenges ahead but identified a segment of managers who are taking innovativeapproaches to dealing with them:

  • Agency budgets are trending lower – 73% of the respondents believe that their budget will be even lower in 2015.
  • Shrinking budgets put agency missions at risk – 12% of respondents describe the impact of budget cuts as devastating and 58% see them as impacting their agency’s mission performance.
  •  34% of Federal innovators are already looking at alternative funding approaches.

These innovation-driven managersspend almost one-third of their time “trying to get their agency to operate orlook at things differently.” At NASA, one innovative solution I have beeninvolved with has been Federal Cloud Brokerage. For more than a year, NASA has collaborated with the General ServicesAdministration and 10 other agencies to explore the Federal Government’s leveragingof cloud computing and a cloud brokerage service to reduce expenses and improveIT services.  Our team has issued aRequest for Information (RFI) from technology firms to continue advancing theconcept of Federal cloud brokerage.

What can you do to help innovate?  Please bring me your ideas on how we canreduce costs while maintaining or improving services to our customers. You seethe opportunities since you are on the front line dealing with efficiency andeffectiveness issues. Keep in mind that we owe it to the taxpayers, ourco-workers and ourselves to best prepare our agency for the great challengesthat lie ahead.