“Innovation” is an overused buzzword that obscures the messy reality of making change happen.
True innovation requires the right people, the proper mix of technologies and a critical grasp of customers’ needs and expectations. For agencies, the many layers of federal governance and regulation add another degree of difficulty.
FCW recently gathered a group of IT leaders from across government to talk about the obstacles they’re encountering and how they’ve addressed them. The discussion was on the record but not for individual attribution, and the quotes have been edited for length and clarity. Here’s what the group had to say.
Procurement is no longer the obstacle — security is
The Federal Acquisition Regulation’s restrictions, both real and perceived, have long been a friction point for digital reinvention efforts, but most participants said the contracting process is not holding them back.
“It used to be the in-vogue complaint was, ‘Oh, it’s all procurement’s fault,'” one executive said. “But actually, procurement has gotten much better. What our agency is grappling with is the IT monstrosity that came out of” the Federal Information Security Management Act.
“FISMA came out because we were doing these things wrong in government,” he acknowledged. “But now we’ve created this very burdensome process that is not well-aligned to where cloud architecture is going,” and agencies must find new ways to navigate that process. “Obviously, we can’t bend security principles, [but without a new architecture,] you’re waiting two years to deploy. That’s not innovation. That’s not acceptable in this day and age.”
Keep reading this article at: https://fcw.com/articles/2019/02/21/fcw-perspectives-innovation.aspx