- There is now a sequel to this blog at IT Strategy: 3 more things you can learn from the U.S. Government
The U.S. chief information officer, Steven VanRoekel, described his vision for information technology in a recent speech. This vision includes ideas such as “Shared First”, which looks for opportunities to shift to commodity IT and build on existing investments rather than re-inventing the wheel, and “Future First” which encourages the use of new technologies such as XML, web services and virtualization.
As I read the text of VanRoekel’s speech, I was interested to see the similarities between an IT strategy for the U. S. government, and the sort of IT strategies that HP helps our customers to develop. An effective IT strategy is not just about technology and architectures. It should also include at least the following four elements, each of which VanRoekel covered in his speech:
1. Establish your vision and mission to help ensure that everyone is working towards common targets. When I work with my customers, we start by making sure that all the stakeholders have a shared vision and understanding of what kind of IT service provider they want to be and what experience they want their customers to have. Early in his speech, VanRoekel says “The American people expect us to use technology to provide the same level of service they experience in their everyday lives. They pay bills online and buy plane tickets on smartphones. And it’s not just the millennial generation – with 80-year olds now using Facebook to keep in touch with grandchildren across the country - expectations have reached a critical point even faster than anticipated.”
2. Include an overall investment strategy to help make decisions about when and where to spend money. VanRoekel says “…more than half of the Fortune 500 companies were founded during an economic downturn… In tough times, visionaries and risk-takers can tap into underutilized human capital, technology, information and other resources, picking up the pieces to reassemble them into something completely new” and “…we need to embrace modular development, build on open standards, and run our projects in lean startup mode. We also need to work with Congress to change our approach to funding technology to better support these principles”
3. Make sure you have measureable objectives and critical success factors to help focus attention on what needs to be done. VanRoekel sets out very clear objectives and critical success factors, including “…lower barriers to citizen and business interaction with the government”, “bolstering cyber security”, “rooting out waste and duplication across the federal IT portfolio”, “smart telework policies that give our employees increased flexibility while also reducing our real estate footprint”, and “shift away from a paper-based mindset and focus on delivering information efficiently and effectively using digital tools”
4. Give clear guidelines for the technology direction. In the context of these high level strategic ideas, he then goes on to describe his “Shared First” and “Future First” initiatives, which are focused on the technology and architectures needed to deliver the strategy.
Many people think of HP as a technology company, and we certainly have comprehensive services that can help our customers to implement their “Future First” initiatives. These services cover every possible aspect of technology and architecture from development of cloud services, virtualization projects, servers and storage, to design and build of energy efficient data centres. If you are thinking about your IT strategy, then HP also has a comprehensive set of strategic service management consulting services that can help you to define your vision and mission, evaluate and refresh your service portfolio, analyse your capabilities or develop the capabilities you need to deliver your vision. Learn how HP Consulting Services can help.
For more info about me and what I can do for your organization, see my profile at our Technology Services Experts page.