The cybersecurity report released by the Obama administration on May 29 includes a few important recommendations for the federal IT workforce. The recommendations include the usual suspects: determine how to improve the government's ability to attract and retain IT employees within the federal service and streamline the lengthy security clearance process to offset lost opportunities. But the report also includes one recommendation that I found interesting and somewhat ambitious, at least for now: engage federal IT workers in shared training and rotational assignments across agencies and potentially with the private sector.
Norm Lorentz, a director in the global public sector practice at Grant Thornton and former chief technology officer at the Office of Management and Budget, said Friday that for such a goal to be possible, the government would first have to ensure consistency in IT job descriptions, continually update training and have consistency in procurement, among other things. "That is absolutely what we should have as a vision for the future," he said. "It'd be nice if it was a vision for later today, but it's not. ...You can't boil the ocean, and you can't fix things all at once, especially with government."
Still, Lorentz recommended making cybersecurity professionals the government's poster child for rotational assignments, first across the various agencies and then in and out of the private sector.
As IT professionals, would you welcome such a change? What would need to happen at your federal agency and across government to make it possible, and how would it help you advance in your career?