recommended reading

Now’s the time for federal innovation, CIO says

Federal CIO Steven Van Roekel

Federal CIO Steven Van Roekel // Caitlin Fairchild/

Tight budgets aren’t the only things putting pressure on federal technologists these days, federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said Thursday.

There’s also pressure from cyberattackers that’s “unprecedented in its scope” and pressure from citizens trained by the private sector to expect convenient, Web-based systems for all their transactions, he said.

The bright side, he said, is that moments of intense external pressure have tended to force major innovations in both government and the private sector.

VanRoekel was speaking at the Excellence in Government conference sponsored by Government Executive Media Group. Nextgov is a division of Government Executive Media Group.

He described the origins of companies such as General Electric and Microsoft that were launched during financial downturns but succeeded because they offered cheaper, innovative services to customers.

The keys to spurring innovation under the current pressure, he said, is shifting to a customer-centric model for delivering government services, encouraging employees to take risks and partnering more with the private sector.

“We can’t let sunk costs or past behavior define our path forward,” he said.

VanRoekel spent his youth in the 1980s hearing that innovative Japanese business models were bound to take over the comparatively stagnant United States, he said.

“But what was happening during that time was this quiet revolution in the world of innovation,” he said. “We had the U.S. government investing in ARPANET to build the Internet. We had core investments in science and technology and education that led to places like Xerox PARC.”

Threatwatch Alert

Network intrusion / Spear-phishing

Researchers: Bank-Targeting Malware Sales Rise in Dark Web Markets

See threatwatch report


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.