recommended reading

Trump Promises 'Massive Program' to Upgrade Federal IT Systems

Evan Vucci/AP

President Donald Trump wants to revamp federal IT because the cost of preserving old computer systems is “so high, it’s not even a believable number,” he told a group of prominent business executives Tuesday.

Addressing the group in Washington, Trump said he’d heard the cost of keeping government computer systems updated and running is anywhere between “$39 billion to $89 billion a year,” according to a White House transcript.

“Is this possible?” he asked the “Strategic and Policy CEO Discussion” attendees, who included Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM, Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, and Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. “And I think we can buy a whole new system for less money than that, wouldn’t you say? I mean, I hope so. We’ll give you $10 billion right now—modernize it.”

Trump said he was planning a “massive program to modernize our equipment—ideally, get brand-new equipment,” according to that transcript.

The meeting, hosted by the newly created Office of American Innovation, was structured so business leaders could talk to Trump’s cabinet members in small groups about ways to meet internal goals. Government attendees included Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, per a pool report.

During the meeting, hosted in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Trump said his team was “working with a very, very wonderful woman” from IBM, referencing Rometty.

“I love your computers, but we’re also looking at others, all right,” Trump said, according to the transcript. “We have a computer system in this country that's 40 years old. So when you hear we're hacked ... we're like easy targets.”

The Office of American Innovation was created to apply business practices to government problems, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said during a press briefing Tuesday. Aside from recommending new ways to create jobs, that team, led by Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will “develop innovative solutions” to challenges such as the “crumbling infrastructure and broken system” at the Veterans Affairs Department.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

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

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

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