The federal IT acquisition process is known to be a long one that often hinders innovation. This pace can thwart an agency’s ability to use the most efficient tools to achieve its mission. With new technology tools being introduced at incredible speed, federal agencies are being forced to reevaluate the acquisition process. Recognizing this growing issue, leaders in federal IT gathered for the 2016 Federal Forum in Washington, DC, to discuss the future of transforming acquisition strategy and ways to improve its effectiveness.
Throughout the panel focusing on transforming IT acquisition, three words were repeatedly mentioned from each panelist: “Collaboration, Communication and Dialogue.” Both Mary Davie, Assistant Commissioner of Integrated Technology Services at GSA and Bill Weinberg, Director of Acquisition Management at ICE/DHS agreed that the first step to transforming IT acquisition to enable innovation is to create an open dialogue.
Weinberg went on to discuss the need for increased communication between engineers/technicians and vendors who supply requirements, so there is a better understanding of what is needed.
“We’re really trying to promote a dialogue for a solution. The government needs to take advantage of opening up the curtain and saying, this is what our problems are, we need some solutions,” Weinberg told the audience.
Tony Celeste, Brocade’s Director of Federal went on to explain the key is engagement with industry and taking the risk of opening up and communicating. “You have to have that open dialogue to drive innovation.”
At the end of the day, you need to invest in a collaboration solution that can flex and grow with you. As Tony Celeste said, “Change is hard, change is different…but you need change to grow.” And as communication, dialogue and collaboration increases, so does innovation.
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