Richard Spires, former CIO at the Department of Homeland Security and CEO of Learning Tree International, discusses the impact the shutdown will have on federal IT modernization, and efforts to update the Trusted Internet Connections policy.
Even though the partial shutdown is over, ripple effects are still being felt at affected agencies. IT modernization plans are among those initiatives disrupted by the funding gap. Several of the agencies looking to update their IT infrastructures were closed during the shutdown. According to Richard Spires, CEO of Learning Tree International, the shutdown happened at a critical moment in the government’s modernization efforts. “I do believe we are in the inflection point with things like FITARA and the new President’s Management Agenda… But that being said, it is terrible any time we have a shutdown. It is terrible for the employees. And it really will have impacts well beyond those 35 days. It is not like you can take a project schedule and say ‘Let’s just move everything out 35 days and we’ll be good.’ There are contractors, there’s going to be changes in personnel, there are ramp up periods,” Spires said. “We have a short CR in place for the agencies affected. You have to believe that they are sitting still, but in fact they might be planning for the next potential shutdown.”