Last week, Federal Chief Information Officer, Steven VanRoekel released the following statement in his blog, “This week, we released the details of the FY 2013 IT Budget request totaling $78.8 billion. This is a 0.75 percent decrease from the FY 2012 enacted level of $79.4 billion – and is noteworthy given the historical growth of Government IT spending. In fact, from FY 2001 through FY 2009, IT spending nearly doubled, growing at an annual rate of 7 percent.” He then went on to say, “We are seizing on the power of 21st century technology to consolidate data centers; move to lightweight, shareable technologies, such as cloud computing, while also directing agencies to consolidate commodity IT services; and shift to shared services. For example, the Department of Defense (DOD) is saving up to $300 million in FY 2013 from the closure of 100 data centers and the President’s Budget proposes close to a $1 billion decrease in their IT budget.”
As with many organizations, the administration is looking to IT to help reduce costs and maximize efficiencies. By consolidating systems, leveraging cloud computing and bettering Project and Portfolio Management processes, government agencies can make these goals a reality.
Achieving operational efficiency while running large-scale programs effectively are mission critical disciplines that many organizations must conquer to receive the true benefits of IT. EPM Live has had the opportunity to work with many government organizations in the last 10 years. During the current recession many government leaders have been instructed to cut IT budgets. That being said, they are also looking to IT to reduce costs as a result of IT initiatives. So how can government leaders do more with less? EPM Live’s strategies that have been implemented via government contracts including Federal civilian, department of defense as well as state and local governments include:
- Eliminating Redundant Systems and Segregated Silos of Information – Government agencies have a tendency to build custom solutions that are disconnected from other IT platforms. The escalating trend and popularity of SaaS (software-as-a-service) and cloud services can help these government organizations bring systems to market quickly, less costly and without the overhead and infrastructure typically required to implement new systems, not to mention the maintenance that follows. Because EPM Live is an “all work” platform, eliminating unnecessary legacy systems is a reality. Managing all work within an organization including projects, operational work, products, etc. on one system is now possible. Just like any other business in the world today, these government agencies must not lose site of innovation, new technology and new ways of managing work in order to keep a competitive edge. Data center growth can now take a back seat and data consolidation can bring to light the significance of having more resources available to work on the initiatives that will bring more value to the organization.
- Implementing Project Portfolio Management (PPM) – Resulting in Better Decision Making and Positive Project Outcomes– Over the years many government projects have been evaluated and processes have been modified as a result. Over the years, the budget plans have reflected the need to cancel and cut projects that are severely over budget and behind schedule. They also require detailed business cases for initiatives that will likely bring more value and attract new funding. To support these efforts, PPM technology is essential. EPM Live has helped government organizations evaluate their projects and programs by allowing business case creation, scoring criteria, ROI analysis and what-if modeling. These organizations can ensure the right projects are being implemented. It has been stated that many government projects weren’t realizing value for years. By that time, the fast-paced world we live in today has changed dramatically, the original benefits of the project were no longer valuable and the needs have changed based on technology drivers, environmental factors, or economic conditions. Implementing PPM technology that will show ROI, timeframe, cost estimates and resource plans along with the business drivers is essential to ensure this type of planning doesn’t consume investments. Choosing the right projects and ensuring a short term value realization can help government leaders make the right strategic decisions to align with objectives, and just as importantly, reduce the risk of potential failure.
- Improving Organizational Maturity– As mentioned above, one of the best ways to cut costs is to improve Project and Portfolio Management processes. EPM Live helps government organizations align their current processes to a toolset which in turn brings a familiarity to the system creating fast adoption rates and usability. Once the current processes are mapped and usage of the system is high, maturity growth is natural and the risks of overcoming change is minimal. Because we design our products to accommodate all users at all maturity levels, there is a sense of accountability that comes with individual ownership of a tool that can only be present if the users feel as if the system was built with their processes in mind. EPM Live provides many tools for collaboration that help users share best practices, create repeatable processes and work towards maturity improvement goals. As processes improve and maturity levels increase, productivity increases and overall efficiencies begin to unfold. To join a webinar on “Implementing PPM for a Multi-Maturity Organization” register here.
- Increasing Project Transparency and Awareness – It is becoming more and more evident that providing constituents with data insight into government project spending and status is critical to running projects effectively. The degree in which the government serves its customers is crucial to its success just as it is to all consumer focused businesses operating today. The government has taken many steps to improving project transparency over the years. In 2009, an IT dashboard was launched to give the American people insight into how government funding was being spent and how those initiatives were performing. Later, the government launched a program in which they would conduct program reviews and would allow for termination of programs that were not producing dividends for the American people. EPM Live has implemented these dashboards
within many government agencies to increase transparency, generate awareness, bring to light potential risks before they become major issues and to create timely solutions to the visible problems that persist. Awareness simply gives businesses the ability to react quickly and respond to the issues that often manifest within projects due to delayed resolution.
There are many steps that government agencies can take to realize full benefit of IT. To learn more about EPM Live and its Government solutions, please contact us for more information.