Change is baked into the DNA of IT and, if properly managed, can lead to innovation and growth. If not managed well, it can lead to disaster. The past year and a half we have experienced tons of change here in GSA IT. We’ve consolidated IT from across the vast GSA enterprise into a single, streamlined IT organization. We’ve transitioned longtime financial GSA IT systems personnel to USDA as they take on the people, process and technology associated with our financial operations. We’ve consolidated and closed data centers and pushed massive infrastructure to the cloud. We’ve moved the delivery of systems and capabilities, large and small from classic waterfall deliveries to the agile delivery of digital services using rapid prototyping and discreet sprints of work. We’ve consolidated our outlying physical offices in the DC area to our main headquarters building at 1800 F. We’ve also witnessed the departure of a few of our friends and colleagues including the recent departure of GSA IT’s own, Sonny Hashmi. His visions and priorities helped revolutionize IT delivery within GSA and it was a privilege to work alongside him to help achieve many of those goals. We wish him all the best in his new endeavor in the private sector and look to him to continue to drive innovation, cost savings and efficiency into the Federal community from his new position. With these changes, come opportunity. Consolidated data centers have saved millions and significantly reduced our power footprint. Moving our financial systems and solutions to a federal shared service provider increases efficiency and costs due to scale. Agile implementations increase transparency, reduce costs and help guard against small mistakes becoming big mistakes. Leaders leave and it opens the door for others.
It’s a great honor to be named the Acting Chief Information Officer for GSA. Since coming to GSA, I have been the Associate CIO of Enterprise Infrastructure with the responsibility for the enterprise information technology infrastructure platforms and capability that supports GSA’s business enterprise. I have also been the Acting Associate CIO of HR and FM Systems for GSA’s CFO, CPO and CAO offices. Prior to joining GSA in 2012, I served in the District of Columbia government as a Chief Information Officer where I was responsible for all agency IT operations. I’ve worked in State & Local government, private industry for big Fortune 500’s, run my own startup and now worked here at GSA for 2 ½ years. My hope is that this breadth of experience will help me and the GSA IT team to deliver the best possible value and solutions to our customers by operating IT as efficiently as possible, delivering quantifiable business value and leading the federal space with innovative solutions that help GSA business transform. These goals and vision align with the current GSA mission to provide high quality IT solutions and services at the best value to the American taxpayer. We will continue to be the strategic thought leaders in Innovation, Intuitive and Integrated (I3) solutions and will do so in a collaborative and transparent manner.
We’ve done some great things in the last couple of years. Through consolidation and by driving efficiency into the GSA computing enterprise, we’ve been able to increase the usability of our systems, weed out duplicative systems and applications, standardize on industry-best solutions, saving over one hundred million dollars. This important work will continue but now is the time to double down. Due to the hard work of the talented individuals in GSA IT, we’ve exploited the big wins. Now the work gets harder. There are a few key areas that I will push GSA IT’s to focus on. We’ll continue to use a stronger, more agile, implementation process, not just for digital services but for larger enterprise implementations. We’ll continue to push towards delivering IT service and solutions as any successful business would; with a clear menu of services, clear, transparent costs, clear outcomes and by taking great care to align our priorities with those of our customers. If something we do is not providing value to our customers, we’ll take a long, hard look at why we are doing it. We’ll continue to manage our investments in a way that is appropriate as stewards of taxpayer dollars, with transparency, and fiscally responsible acumen. Our customers have started to come to us saying, “Where else can we invest with GSA IT? Every time we do, there is good ROI.” We will do everything we can to grow and expand that confidence. I firmly believe that the talented, committed and dedicated employees we have here in GSA IT will enable us to achieve these goals and much much more.
Having been an Associate CIO here in GSA IT, I know the leadership team backing me up. They are experienced, innovative and dedicated to the GSA mission. I am confident they will continue the great work we’ve started and look for new and creative ways to meet the challenges of our mission. For you, the reader of Around the Corner, I plan to use this space to tell the story of how GSA IT is making the important work of GSA better, more efficient, more transparent and transformational. I’ll tell you about new applications and services we’ve developed, efficiencies we’ve driven into our operations, new ideas from our team of GSA IT employees, and what it means for the GSA mission, the federal government as a whole and our most important stakeholders, the American taxpayer.
It’s a pleasure to meet you and I hope you’ll keep visiting.