Federal CIO Imagines One Device, Many Screens

The government is preparing for a screen agnostic future, VanRoekel says.

One of federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel’s best attributes -- at least as far as reporters are concerned -- has always been his willingness to speculate about the long-term future.

This is a rare quality among federal leaders who are often hesitant to speak about anything five or more years out for fear they’ll be held to account if what amounts to an informed guess doesn’t come to fruition.

In that vein, here’s an interesting nugget from VanRoekel’s Friday speech presenting his office’s 2014 budget priorities before the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association’s Bethesda chapter. The CIO was describing his goal of making government services and information more easily accessible to the public.

“The future, we believe, is a very screen agnostic future, one where you’ll take your mobile device, you’ll bring it in, plug it in and it will just scale up to the desk monitors. Or you can throw it onto a television near you or do things like that. We think mobile will be the future and so we’re planning for that future. Today managing mobile and managing on-premise computers, even mobile-esque laptops are separate notions and separate motions. We think that’s’ going to be one motion in the future.”