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Mark Forman, former federal CIO and vice president of Digital Government at Unisys Federal, discusses the state of federal IT, and how modernization efforts are faring in government.

While the FY20 federal budget has expanded since prior years, the funding for IT modernization has stagnated. Mark Forman, former federal CIO and vice president of Digital Government at Unisys Federal, says that there’s been a shift in technology priorities.

 

“Over the last maybe ten years, there’s a separation between what people in the commercial world called IT and OT, IT being infrastructure, and OT is… operational technology. In the government, we have a similar thing. We have the applications, and those sit within the programs. And then increasingly, something that started when I was at OMB, ‘how do you generate shared services? How do you have a consolidation of the IT because we have too much redundant IT?’” Forman said. “A lot of consolidation has continued to move forward around the infrastructure. Virtualization, for example. The Cloud Smart strategy, why it is so important that Suzette and the other CIOs keep talking about modernization, is really about making the convergence between applications and the [infrastructure.] ‘How do we take advantage of web services, serverless computing, low code?’ Not to modernize IT, but the operations of government.”

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