WHAT THE PRESIDENT’S CALL FOR “BOLD THINKING” ON FED IT MEANS NOW
It’s clear that the Trump Administration is serious about upgrading federal IT. The President called for a “sweeping transformation” of federal IT this week, a move that came after the earlier signing an Executive Order on the topic, and proposing his own version of an IT modernization fund. Three definite actions and policy announcements mean that federal IT reform is at or near the top of the Administration’s federal management strategy. This is welcome support to professionals in and outside of government. Strong policy support can lead to change. What this means for contractors now, though, is this: The Administration is with you philosophically, but there has yet to be any additional funding provided by Congress. It remains to be seen whether discussions with Congressional leaders will result in significantly, or even incrementally, more money for IT in FY’18 or ’19. Only with the necessary commitment of funds will there be a chance for actions to match the words. This is not to say that the President and his team are just talking. They apparently really do understand the problem and want to fix it on their watch. Just like a watch, though, they don’t control all of the moving pieces. Do not expect overnight change.