The Ever-Evolving Progress of IT Modernization in US Government

Throughout its many agencies and departments, the U.S. government is currently in the midst of a push toward evolving its systems and tools. Many federal entities are overhauling legacy — or established, often physical storage-based — architectures to make way for cloud-derived systems that are seen as functionally efficient and economically prudent.

If you want to know more about this subject area, be sure to check out GovCon Wire’s upcoming event, the Second Annual IT Modernization and Transformation Forum. It will be hosted virtually on Nov. 10 and you can register here.

In March, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee passed a revised edition of the bipartisan Legacy IT Reduction Act, which mandates efforts led by the chief information officers of government agencies to take stock of the tools and technologies in their arsenal. Under the law, the CIOs are expected to list all of the legacy software systems and other programs in regular use, explicate their necessity, determine when they can be ‘sunsetted’ (or phased out) and lay out how much a modernized replacement would cost.

Additionally, the proposed legislation introduces a timeline wherein agencies would be required to develop a clearly defined IT update plan in two years, after which they would need to refresh their outlook and agenda once five years has elapsed from that two-years-in-the-future point.

Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., who co-authored the bill with John Cornyn, noted that the law is intended to both cut back on tax burdens for the American people and improve cybersecurity protection measures.

The Legacy IT Reduction Act is currently awaiting further action, as its main policy thrust was approved by the Senate, but its attendant funding amendment, which would ensure financial banking for the bill’s enactment, was turned down.

However, the mission of keeping IT systems up to date with the current needs of the government — as well as aligned with new trends within industry — hasn’t lost momentum. In July, the Department of Defense began a search through the Office of the Inspector General to identify a contracting company to help migrate their Impact Level 5 documentation, which comprises some of the most secure and top secret information within the DOD, to the cloud. They are aiming to establish a hybrid cloud infrastructure.

Furthermore, the U.S. Coast Guard, the organization from which the keynote speaker of the upcoming GovCon Wire event hails, began the year by introducing a newly reconfigured financial management apparatus. Succeeding a legacy system, the Financial System Modernization Solution reportedly offers a condensed, accessible way to handle the financial affairs and procurement processes of the USCG, powered by automation and bolstered by intensified security policies.

The project was spurred by a 2021 Government Accountability Office report that designated the DOD and the Department of Homeland Security as two of the entities most in need of a legacy IT system overhaul.

The Coast Guard’s Christopher Bartz, a rear admiral who is the assistant commandant for command, control, communications, computers and information technology as well as its chief information officer for the service branch, will address a virtual audience on Nov. 10 at GovCon Wire’s Second Annual IT Modernization and Transformation Forum.

Bartz’s remarks will be followed by a panel that includes MITRE Managing Director of Cyber and Analytics Chuck Lewis; Cybersecurity and Information Systems Information Analysis Center Technical Lead Philip Payne; and Department of the Air Force Chief Digital Transformation Officer in the Office of the Chief Information Officer Stuart Wagner.

Second Annual IT Modernization and Transformation Forum

To hear a sophisticated dialogue on matters of IT modernization, transformation and more, register for the event here.

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