Achieving the IT Reform Plan: GSA’s Four Secrets of Success

Posted by
on June 27, 2011

Government agencies are six months into implementing the Federal CIO’s 25 Point IT Reform Plan, and according to agency CIO status blogs, we’re on schedule. That’s great news.

However, how we finish is more important than how we stay on schedule. With Federal CIO Vivek Kundra moving on, we need to work that much harder.

That’s why I want to share some secrets that will help us achieve the plan the Federal OCIO set in motion:

Secret #1 – GSA has the first-mover advantage (and wants to share!)
As Casey Coleman pointed out in her blog, GSA successfully addressed point 3 of the IT reform plan: We moved our email to the cloud using our own Alliant GWAC. We can share our scope of work and lessons learned with your agency.

Secret #2 – GSA has the solutions to meet your IT reform plan challenges
We’ve created the first OMB-sanctioned cloud computing-specific contract vehicles for Infrastructure as a Service and Email as a Service, fulfilling points 4 and 5.

We can also help you consolidate your commodity IT spending under agency CIOs (point #20), an area where government is behind the curve. We have stood up a new IT commodity buying program and are building our Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative (FSSI) Wireless program to provide streamlined acquisition support.

Secret #3 – Involve industry in any IT project
Industry involvement is critical for any IT project, as is communicating early, often, and throughout the process.

At GSA, we are involving industry and agencies to develop new solutions such as our cloud BPAs, our FSSI Wireless, and SmartBUY, as well as planning our Network Services program strategy.

In addition to face-to-face conversations, we are using tools like wikis, discussion boards, and idea-generation tools. We have found these tools to be great ways to augment traditional market research and requirements definition processes, reaching a broader audience as well as increasing transparency and participation.

Check out GSA’s use of a wiki to get input on RFIs, requirements, and acquisition strategy at the BetterBuy Wiki. We’d be glad to share lessons learned and “how-tos” with your agency.

Secret #4 – Pick the right partners
As the government’s primary workplace solutions provider and a proving ground for new IT solutions, GSA can provide the tips, tools, and technologies to enable you to see all of your IT projects through to successful conclusion.

Let me know how we can help your agency by leaving a comment or reaching me on Twitter.

5 Replies to “Achieving the IT Reform Plan: GSA’s Four Secrets of Success”

  1. It’s nice to see the gov’t taking advantage of the available technology resources to improve the service of their agencies. It is important to keep an open communication with the public and also make sure to keep a good communication inside different gov’t offices.

  2. When I read a post such as this, it kind of makes me laugh at all the people who criticize the way our government operates.

    This post – and the blog itself – makes the clear case that you are doing all you can to be transparent and helpful to our citizenry.

    You have presented a clear map for success. This not only keeps me informed, but tells me that YOU know how to succeed as well!

    Good for you – and thank you for inspiring condfidence in a public that chooses to be informed rather than critical.

  3. Hi Mary! GSA appears to have “broken the code” for getting back onto the right path in reagrds to the acquisition process. Unfortunately, others are not so enlightened, but there is hope. If we (in the acquisition community) continue our open dialog on how to improve the process and really achieve value, then not only the agencies but the American taxpayer ultimately will benefit. Keep up the good fight! Regards, Pete

  4. Social Security has a policy that prohibits bringing in personal wireless devices into a government building. They specify laptops and IPADS. It certainly is amazing since all cell phones are wireless devices and most smart phones can do anything an IPAD or laptop can, maybe a little slower but if security and downloading PII is the concern a smartphone or flashdrive may be quicker.
    It would be nice if Social Security would enter the 21’st century and allow employee’s to use electronic devices during breaks and lunch, and depend on their software/hardware security features to protect public information. But that may be asking to much of an organization that’s primary servers operate off of COBOL programming language a 1940-50’s programming language.

  5. We are sorry you’ve been frustrated by the process of getting on a Schedule, which can take around a year. Please reach out to the Vendor Support Center ( and let them know if you have questions that haven’t been answered yet.

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