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Federal Insights

Improving Agency IT with FITARA

by tony.celeste ‎11-09-2015 07:10 AM - edited ‎11-09-2015 07:11 AM (11,464 Views)

The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) is poised to support big changes in federal IT. A recent survey found that 79 percent of feds believe FITARA will positively affect the way IT is viewed at their agency by helping CIOs improve communication, making IT leaders more accountable and reinforcing their positions as integral and critical stakeholders.


According to Federal CIO Tony Scott, the new law gives federal CIOs greater power to engage and collaborate with agency leadership. This will bring increased opportunities for CIOs to discuss the value of IT decisions, make strategic recommendations and better implement them. Moving forward, the changing role of the CIO will have a profound impact on an agency’s ability to successfully acquire the IT resources needed to meet their missions.


With greater authority and oversight, federal CIOs will be held accountable for the mission impact of their IT solutions. According to the survey referenced above, 73 percent of feds suggest the Government Accountability Office (GAO) measure FITARA’s success based on productivity and effectiveness of IT decisions. Another 60 percent suggest that GAO measure improvements in the amount of reduced waste and duplicative IT systems.


How will this be accomplished? CIOs wishing to succeed in these areas can begin with the network. Government networks represent architectures designed decades ago and are in desperate need of modernization. Transforming these networks will provide an immediate benefit across all IT functions supporting the mission. Currently, legacy spending drains 75 percent of federal IT budget, leaving little for investments in innovation – but offering big opportunities for measurable improvements. Transitioning to the New IP, an industry term for an innovative approach to networking that is software-enabled, user-centric and based on open standards, can save agencies up to $7 billion over a five year period. These savings are driven by more efficient network technologies like Ethernet fabrics, which can increase network utilization by up to 200 percent, and the use of open standards and multivendor networks, proven to produce substantial cost savings and quicker time to innovation.


Additionally, investments in network modernization will better equip agencies to utilize emerging technologies like cloud, mobile, big data and the Internet of Things. In many cases, the full impact of these disruptive technologies is limited by legacy networks. Network modernization should be considered the first step in enabling their possibilities.


For more information on tapping into the efficiency and cost savings associated with the New IP, please visit: