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Tony Scott, Managing Partner at Ridge-Lane Limited Partners and Darren Ash, CIO of the USDA Farm Service Agency, discuss how forming a good IT strategy at agencies can help them […]

Tony Scott, Managing Partner at Ridge-Lane Limited Partners and Darren Ash, CIO of the USDA Farm Service Agency, discuss how forming a good IT strategy at agencies can help them complete their missions.


The next major policy document to come from the administration is Cloud Smart. As the new policy slides into the government’s overall IT framework, it’s another step towards completely overhauling how the government looks at technology. Darren Ash, CIO of the USDA Farm Service Agency, says that the focus on customer service has done great things for modernizing how the department uses tech. “We have to ask. We have to be able to sit down and meet them where they are, whether it’s in rural America, eastern part of the country. What are their needs, expectations and experiences? When they apply for a program, what would make it easier for them. Whether it’s because they have low bandwidth or they don’t have mobile capabilities, what can we do differently?” Tony Scott, Managing Partner at Ridge-Lane Limited Partners says that spreading knowledge of IT success stories can help to maintain steady progress. “You’ve got the management team highly aligned. I think we need more success stories. We have some great examples of things that are going on and we need to tell more people about some of those successes to help drive the momentum,” said Scott. “Having good stories to tell usually involves doing things differently than the way we’ve done them in the past. This emphasis currently on serving the customer better I think is a good place to start.”

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