Starting Now: Acting CIO Talks Transitions, Priorities

"Change Ahead" Road Sign

People who work in IT know transitions are rarely easy. The technology is the easy part of any transition. Whether we’re talking about configuring switches or replacing servers or even writing code, it’s understandable.

The real challenge involves people – how they adapt to change and excel in a new environment. I have known this and experienced it many times in my career. But now, as GSA’s Acting Chief Information Officer, the last few days and weeks have found me living this reality.

As Acting Chief information Officer, not only has my role changed at GSA, but the challenges that lay in front of us, and the technology industry at large, are changing faster than ever before. In my first post on this blog, I’d like to focus on transitioning GSA IT to become an organization designed to meet these new challenges.

 One of the first areas of emphasis is transitioning beyond GSA’s  A3 initiative:   Anytime, Anywhere, Any Device.  GSA established the A3 vision several years ago to bring focus and energy around the difficult work of consolidating and modernizing our core IT services and infrastructure, through leveraging Cloud, mobility and workforce transformation.  Over the past few years, our organization has successfully led the way in making the A3 vision a reality — the GSA workforce is highly mobile, is able to effectively work from any device, anywhere and anytime.  Our IT services allow GSA employees to be productive even during massively disruptive events such as Hurricane Sandy, allowing them to fulfill their mission, helping federal agencies respond and recover efficiently.  Moving forward, we want to build on this vision with an even greater focus on our customers, our customers’ customers, and the business processes and systems that support them.

I am also excited about all the ways Information Technology can support GSA’s goals of service, efficiency and savings.  For example, the GSALink Smart Building program is an industry-leading analytics system that won an Innovation of the Year award from the government IT media group, FedScoop, for achieving significant savings in energy and operational expenses, while improving the management and operational effectiveness of the public buildings under GSA’s care. GSA’s Cloud programs have realized significant savings, have established new ways we can provide better services to our customers, and have won multiple awards, including  ACT-IAC’s Excellence.gov award, Computerworld Honors award, and a 2011 GCN Award for IT Achievement.  We have more initiatives in the pipeline that will demonstrate IT enhancements to service, efficiency and savings — stay tuned!

I also have my own interests and curiosity in technology which means there may be some upcoming blog posts about the future of agile development and the evolution of social media.  As I said, technology is changing at an increasingly faster pace and I don’t think I’ll ever run out of things for us to talk about in the context of government IT.

 One of the easier parts of this transition is the opportunity I’ve been given to lead an amazing and dedicated group of IT professionals. You can expect to hear from a number of talented IT leaders within GSA as they offer their perspective on the transformation IT brings to a federal agency.

 I am very appreciative of the opportunity to be Acting CIO of GSA. We have a long tradition of innovation, transformation and collaboration at this agency and I look forward to sharing more with you on the Around the Corner blog as we move forward.