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Running IT as a business

| David Shive, chief information officer
Post filed in: Chief Information Officer  |  Technology

Last year in this blog, I wrote about a key component of my CIO philosophy – running IT as a business. U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) IT has made great strides in achieving our mission in providing high-quality IT solutions and services to fulfill GSA’s mission. As a business, we must collaborate with our business partners to show the value of IT – delivering better value and savings for our customer agencies, making a more sustainable government, and leading with innovation.

To improve the transparency and visibility into our IT spending and investments, GSA began leveraging the Technology Business Management (TBM) framework to implement a standard, generally accepted taxonomy and cost model that uses detailed financial, technical, and business metrics to show the value of the use of technology to accomplish business objectives. This view of IT spending allows our customers to understand the business value of the portfolio of IT systems, services, and tools they invest in through GSA IT, while enabling us to make data-driven decisions and trade-offs between cost, quality, and value.

Today, the Federal IT Cost, Opportunity, Strategy and Transparency (COST) Commission (ITCC), led by the TBM Council, will host a meeting at GSA. The ITCC is a joint public/private initiative that partners with some of the world’s largest enterprise organizations and federal CIOs to share ideas and best practices on technology cost management and how we might apply them to the federal government. During this meeting, the ITCC will present a series of recommendations that include a defined set of best practices and standards for federal CIOs to improve transparency, reduce waste, and increase efficiency of IT spending.

By instituting this methodology, we are changing the culture of how we do business with our customers. We are increasingly able to show value for the products and services we use to support the business of the federal government and better account for every taxpayer dollar spent on technology. We hope to gain further insight into effective value management of IT investments and take the lessons learned from the vast number of commercial entities that are using the TBM taxonomy, and apply them here in the federal space.

Continuing partnerships between the public and private sector and leveraging value management practices helps ensure that IT investments are well aligned with the business objectives of the agency and taxpayer dollars are being used as efficiently as possible.