Government information technology leaders will need to embrace new ideas and approaches in order to address a wide range of technical and management challenges, including increasing transparency and boosting cross-agency collaboration, according to a new <a href="http://analytics.informationweek.com/abstract/104/1333/Government/research-government-2-0.html">survey</a> by InformationWeek.
Government information technology leaders will need to embrace new ideas and approaches in order to address a wide range of technical and management challenges, including increasing transparency and boosting cross-agency collaboration, according to a new survey by InformationWeek.
The survey, which included 177 federal government IT leaders and was conducted in September 2009I just , found that IT leaders face a host of management challenges, including hiring and retaining skilled IT talent, even despite the economic recession and high unemployment rate. For example, 41 percent of IT leaders identified hiring and retaining skilled IT talent as a major management challenge. "After a few years in government, federal workers often take their knowledge of the agency and technical skills they have developed and receive significant salary bumps in the private sector," the report states.
The report also noted that hiring challenges have often hampered government's willingness to develop in-house talent, causing many agencies to simply outsource functions, projects and IT staffing needs. But such a model delivers only short-term savings while sacrificing the institutional knowledge that is developed during projects, the report states. More than half of respondents said they do not believe government will lessen its reliance on contractor personnel for IT projects in the future.
Survey respondents also identified the top traits of a successful IT leader. The top answer, with 64 percent, was communication, followed by technical expertise (47 percent), focus on agency mission (46 percent) and attention to performance and outcomes (46 percent). Private sector management experience and having professional and industry contacts were considered the least important traits, receiving only 15 percent and 8 percent of IT leaders' support, respectively.
The survey also fund a disconnect between the Gov 2.0 initiatives that agencies are most interested in and the greatest IT challenges that agencies face. For example, 53 percent of respondents noted that security is the top test they face, although security is not a focus of the Open Government directive memo. "A change in culture can only occur if assurances are provided that information will remain safe," the report .