Air Force CTO: We Don’t Want to Manage IT Anymore

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Faced with an IT workforce shortage, the Air Force CTO said it makes more sense to outsource the work to industry entities than to continue training a revolving door of airmen.

Many agencies and departments manage IT services like email, calendars and the like across their enterprises.

According to one of its top tech officials, the U.S. Air Force is trying to get out of that business, preferring instead to contract those services to commercial vendors.

“We want to get totally out [of that business],” said Frank Konieczny, chief technology officer for the Air Force. Konieczny spoke Wednesday at the ATARC Federal Cloud Computing Summit.

Faced with an IT workforce shortage, Konieczny said it makes more sense to outsource the work to industry entities than to continue training a revolving door of airmen.

“We don’t want to manage anything that’s IT, so we are pushing everything out to other vendors, commercial vendors, even for our own bases,” Konieczny said. “We’re going to outsource all that capacity and data centers at the base level as well. We do not have enough airmen to actually do the jobs, so we’d rather buy the expertise from several contractors as opposed to training people. That’s not their mission in life.”

Increasingly, the Pentagon, intelligence community and military branches have looked at commercial vendors to develop IT solutions in areas like email, electronic health records, and infrastructure. Those moves typically have a large impact on existing workforce, freeing up federal IT personnel to perform other duties. 

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