Leaders Split on Whether the Obama Administration Can Accomplish Its IT Goals


Only 32 percent of surveyed tech leaders say their agencies are up to the task.

Federal information technology leaders are about evenly split on whether their agencies can achieve a slate of ambitious IT reform goals established by the Obama administration, according to survey data gathered by the Government Business Council.

About 32 percent of the 74 civilian and military information technology leaders surveyed by GBC said they were “confident” or “very confident” their agencies could meet those goals, which include plans to consolidate government data centers, shift more government computing to the cloud and increase the use of shared IT services across government. Another 32 percent said they were “not confident” their agencies could achieve those goals.

About 35 percent of respondents were “somewhat confident” their agencies could accomplish the goals.

GBC and Nextgov are both divisions of Government Executive Media Group. The 74 tech leaders included in the survey were all at the GS-14, GS-15 or Senior Executive Service grade. The survey doesn’t have a meaningful margin of error because the universe of possible survey respondents -- top level technology officials -- is very small.

When asked to rank the importance of the Obama administration’s IT goals, respondents placed improving IT services’ quality and accountability at the top of the list and put opening up government data at the bottom.

About 32 percent of respondents listed IT services’ quality and accountability as the administration’s most important goal. About 18 percent of respondents prioritized improving mobility and mobile security first and 15 percent listed insider threat detection as the most important priority.

About 7 percent of respondents put open data at the top of that list.

The greatest challenge to fulfilling the Obama administration’s IT priorities is a lack of funding, the survey found, followed by insufficient personnel, cultural resistance to change and technological barriers such as legacy systems.

Nextgov launched an interactive quiz today to help federal technologists assess their own IT priorities. Take the quiz here

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