Several Federal IT industry stalwarts offered praise today for the important role that FITARA (the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act) has played in pushing Federal agencies toward greater IT modernization, and for the opportunities for further progress that the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s FITARA Scorecard helps to clarify for Federal CIOs. […]

Artificial intelligence (AI), following on the heels of its older sibling RPA (robotic process automation), is no longer waiting to be born, but remains more of a toddler on the Federal IT scene–still learning to walk before trying to run, but bulking up from an appetite for serious Federal government tech interest and investment.






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Steve Harris runs Dell EMC Federal. His office in McLean, Virginia, a stone’s throw from the nation’s capital, is a long way from the tiny town where he grew up: Wellsville, New York – population 7,000. I sat down with the one-time aspiring professional golfer to discuss how he got into IT, and his vision for Dell Technologies’ position in the changing Federal market. A fellow USO-Metro board member, Harris is hitting a hole-in-one at Dell EMC Federal.






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In the afterglow of last week’s FITARA Scorecard 7.0 report from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee–which catalogued both substantial improvements by some Federal agencies in numerous grading categories and efforts by others to shore up a sturdier floor under otherwise fairly poor grades–several Federal IT industry executives took a few minutes with MeriTalk to share their thoughts about how agencies might be able to boost their grades on the next scorecard, scheduled for May 2019.






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A strong cultural push–one that doesn’t discourage creativity, change, and even failure–is necessary to drive innovation within IT departments, according to a panel of government leaders and a private sector IT executive gathered Wednesday at MeriTalk’s 2018 Cloud Computing Brainstorm.






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The new President’s Management Agenda solidified the administration’s focus on IT modernization. In the 54-page agenda, released last week, the White House laid out its roadmap for improving the Federal government. Central to its plans? Modernizing the government’s IT infrastructure. 






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When the first Federal IT Acquisitions Reform Act (FITARA) scorecards were dished out in November 2015, agencies and industry alike praised government’s glowing commitment to overhauling a moribund Federal IT landscape. Looking back over the scorecards, FITARA has clearly added new transparency and accountability–and the scorecard has evolved over time. But, the FITARA 5.0 reports in late 2017 showed agencies are regressing. With the passage of the MGT Act, now seems like a good time to further evolve the FITARA scorecard.






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The Modernizing Government Technology Act passed the Senate as a part of the Manager’s Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act on Sept. 18. “By incentivizing the transition to modern technology, we will allow the government to harness cutting-edge technologies, use each dollar more efficiently, strengthen our digital infrastructure and improve government services for everyone,” said Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, the bill’s author.






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