Federal government agencies need to focus on workforce and cloud computing strategies, among others, as they move to advance their digital strategies and improve customer experience, a senior Government Accountability Office (GAO) official said this week.

That was a top-line takeaway from Dave Hinchman, director of IT and cybersecurity issues at GAO, who talked about those strategy components at a GovExec IT modernization event on June 28.

On the workforce front, “I think that the key part of [this is] really having a workforce strategy and understanding who your people are, what people you want, and why you want them,” said Hinchman.

The need for agencies to further develop their workforce strategies is taking on a greater focus on the coronavirus pandemic continues to wane, and Federal agencies face choices about how to restructure in-office and hybrid work schedules.

“There are questions about why you come into the office, and what scenario are you going to offer these new employees,” he said. “Is it, ‘hey you can telework as much as you want or hey, we’ve got a policy you need to come in halftime’ … you have to clearly articulate what that reason is,” said Hinchman.

He also talked about the need for government to continually push for updated cloud solute as a means for the workforce to focus on delivering better customer experience.

“There are a lot of legacy systems … but as the government takes a look at how they can modernize their IT, I do think that they recognize there’s a great opportunity to figure out how to better deliver an online customer experience that helps drive, quite honestly, better customer experience satisfaction scores,” the GAO official said.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.