Government IT: Making the Most of Budget Cuts and Innovating through Transformation

Lewis Carr is Senior Director of World-wide Software Industry Marketing at HP. 

Government has historically been an IT innovator (think of DARPA and the Internet or all the downstream commercial applications from the Apollo space program), but funding is increasingly limited by sequestration, the fiscal cliff and another year of the continuing resolution. Budgets are now tightening while the pace of technology continues to quicken. Like other industries, government faces shifting realities, including demand for cloud, cyber threats from criminals and nation states, rising mobile saturation and the explosion of Big Data.

Last month at the HP Software Government Summit in Washington, DC, our customers and partners acknowledged that IT is a target for beltway budget cutting. But the consensus at the Summit was clearly a glass-half-full reaction to this threat: IT is a powerful response to fiscal challenges.  

Taking on the Sequester requires innovation and the right IT solutions. Think of it this way – all of you pay taxes. You expect to retire and get your money back from Social Security. Nobody wants to pay more taxes, but you want at least the same level of service, essentially we want the government to do more with less. 

Smart IT is how you get a smarter and more efficient government with improved services.

So, how do you get smart IT? When all is said and done, the Sequester and continuing resolution will likely hit government IT budgets for new initiatives first. This is because what is new is also flexible, less planned, and less brittle than legacy projects that deliver most of government’s day-to-day services.

At HP, we believe that “innovation on a budget” means “innovation on existing platforms.” Whatever you call it, it’s still innovation. Government can plan transformational activities that leverage existing investments and production systems to support new standards.

HP helps clients like the government make these types of transformations through our Application Transformation Solutions. This is a comprehensive, robust approach that helps clients identify key mission priorities, assess their current environment to modernize IT, and utilize public and private cloud-based services to support mobility programs.

When executed correctly, the result is an IT environment that uses the power of new technology, is less expensive to maintain and delivers a satisfying customer experience that citizens and employees have come to expect. If government IT departments are flexible and make the most of what they have now – transforming and automating existing systems that they may have once hoped to get rid of – then I think we’ll see smarter, more efficient and more valuable programs. We can cut costs, while preserving IT. That’s the silver lining.