February 2, 2023
Federal Chief Information Officer, Office of Management and Budget
Host and Managing Editor, The Federal Drive
Technological advancements have been continuously driving the world forward as innovative ideas emerge that provide simpler solutions for conducting business. However, the systems by which some government entities provide services to citizens are still stuck in the past.
During the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Digital Transformation Summit, private and public sector leaders came together to observe the challenges — and opportunities — that are being faced by government agencies as they try to navigate digital transformation to streamline services for citizens. Federal Chief Information Officer of the Office of Management and Budget Clare Martorana sat down with Thomas Temin, Host and Managing Editor at Federal Drive, to look at how federal agencies are progressing forward with innovative technology through the Technology Modernization Fund.
The Technology Modernization Fund Is Pushing Government Forward
According to Martorana, many government IT projects fail because certain challenges in the “longitudinal” part of the project aren’t always thought through.
“What we're trying to do is help people go fast, avoid [common] mistakes, bring together a community of people that can support them through their process, and oftentimes, build an MVP or do something that proves that they are actually building the right thing,” Martorana said.
Martorana attributes much of the progress to the fact that various government departments, like the United States Intelligence Community and the Department of Defense, are willing to work together to come up with solutions that benefit the public.
Working With Various Partners Ensures a Safe Cyberspace
When it comes to keeping cyberspace safe,Martorana believes that cybersecurity should be at the forefront of everybody’s job at the office of the Federal Chief Information Officer.
“We are making sure that in our policies, the guidance that we put out, the President's executive order 14028, [and] the way we approach the Zero Trust strategy by putting it out for public comment, [we’re] making sure we heard from industry [leaders], from academics, [and] from researchers to make it a better forward-leaning policy,” Martorana said.
She added, “I find it really inspiring that we have so many different entities all playing their part on the board to try and make us more secure.”
While Modernization Has Been Delayed for Years, It’s Finally Picking Up
In talking about the progress that has been made through modernization efforts, Temin pointed out that certain entities have not progressed as quickly as they may have expected. The IRS, for example, launched its first modernization efforts in 1991, yet, they’re still continuing 30 years later.
However, Martorana sees modernization efforts ramping up.
“COVID has been an incredible accelerant in us recognizing how we have to deliver services to our end customers, but also the business process that goes on prior to utilizing technology,” Martorana said.
In a recent conversation with Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, the Ukrainian Digital Minister, Martorana asked him how they were able to make so much modernization progress during the pandemic and received advice she now lives by.
“He said, ‘We don't digitize bureaucracy,’” Martorana shared. “That has been their north star … they interrogate the business process. They try to create the quickest path to being able to be safe and secure, [while] creating a seamless experience for their customers [and] knowing that their customers are dealing with extraordinary stresses in their home country.”