While old hard drives hung in IT closets with care, and visions of modernization danced in CIOs’ heads all year long, as the new decade approaches Federal agencies can only hope that this gift-giving season brings the new tech they’ll need to stay on top of their IT transformations.

With some holiday magic in mind, MeriTalk speculated what some agency tech experts and CIOs dream about unwrapping this holiday season to help them meet 2020 goals.

Department of Defense (DoD): Enterprise Cloud

While the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract was finally awarded to Microsoft in October 2019, legal challenges and other delays could slow agencywide implementation. Fortunately, this hasn’t stopped DoD from breaking ground on the cloud project, and we’re wishing them a successful launch in the new year.

General Services Administration (GSA) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB): TMF

While the $25 million set aside for Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) is nothing to sneeze at – especially considering Senate’s $0 offering – what the TMF board really wants is a holiday miracle closer to the $150 million requested by the White House. More repeatable, scalable project proposals for the TMF Board and timely fee repayment wouldn’t hurt either.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS): Senior Cyber Personnel

As the DHS Office of the Inspector General pointed out in November 2019, the agency could use a holiday miracle to fill gaps in its cyber leadership. Overall, 18 of 58 DHS senior leadership roles were filled by acting officials at the time of the report, but the recent departures of former CIO John Zangardi and Assistant Director for Cybersecurity at DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Jeanette Manfra are especially sore spots.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): Electronic Health Records (EHR)

VA touted major successes with the relaunch its official website, but with its first EHR launch set to begin in March 2020, the CIO Office is likely asking Santa for the transition to go smoothly. In August, VA announced the successful transition of existing records to its EHR vendor Cerner, a major milestone for the agency. Inspectors General, however, have flagged some recent data privacy discrepancies at VA that could plague the agency.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC): 5G and Broadband

With so much congressional action on 5G and broadband, FCC officials may be anxiously awaiting progress. This year for the holidays, the FCC and its new CIO Francisco Salguero could benefit from meaningful, forward thinking action on the technologies. Specifically, improvements to rural broadband access and secure network equipment would greatly enhance agency efforts.

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About Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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