Government officials from the Department of State (DOS), Energy (DoE), and Health and Human Services (HHS) revealed their visions for the future and top priorities pertaining to modernizing information technology (IT) within the Federal government.

During a September 6 event hosted by Federal News Network, the three agency officials admitted that they are mostly focused on transferring their information environments into multi-cloud systems, training their employees in artificial intelligence (AI), and implementing zero trust.

“We are strategically working on our journey,” Nicole Willis, chief technology officer in the Office of Inspector General within HHS, said. “We’ve spent a lot of time looking at what our capability maturity is and are prioritizing building out that multiple-year roadmap.”

It’s also important to work on the “people part” when modernizing these technologies, Willis said. HHS is working on transforming the culture in the organization to enable new architecture like zero trust.

Automation, digitization, and streamlining of critical path systems. Learn more.

Transformation in DOS looks like “employees working from anywhere and everywhere,” according to C. Melonie Cannon, the department’s director in the System Integration Office.

The department has introduced a project called “Tech for Life,” where DOS employees will receive a laptop and phone that they don’t have to leave behind – it can follow them to every post, even global ones, so they can stay mobile.

“We are no longer going to be constrained by a locale,” Cannon said. “We are going to be able to do it securely. This is even going to stretch out to some of our classified activities. We are no longer going to be constrained to a . . . Federal facility.”

When it comes to the DoE’s vision for the future, Acting Deputy Chief Information Officer of Architecture, Engineering, Technology & Innovation, Gardy Rosius, wants Federal agencies to be more innovative and predictive.

Rather than being proactive and reactive, he says, the government needs to be looking at the technology that is coming in and deciphering how it can help them to fast track their digital transformation.

“There’s a lot of tools that are coming in to make data more accessible and visibly allowing us to deploy capabilities more quickly,” Rosius said. “I expect us to see more adaptable applications and tools in ways that really is supporting the business and helping us to deliver really true mission values.”

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan