IT Modernization Tipping Point – 83 Percent of Feds Say Future Mission Success Depends on IT Modernization

Cyber ranked top modernization priority;

Training, workforce development is #1 need to make vision of modern government a reality

ALEXANDRIA, Va.--()--MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT, and the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council – ACT-IAC – a non-profit focused on improving government through technology, today announced the results of their new report, “Reimagining Government IT: An exploration of shared visions and challenges from IT’s biggest players.” The study is powered by insights from more than 300 Federal finance, IT, and procurement decision makers on IT modernization progress and challenges.

Agencies say the stakes could not be higher. All three functions agree roughly half of their high-value assets need IT modernization. Underlining the urgency, 83 percent say future mission success depends on IT modernization.

The good news – most agree modernization efforts have reached a tipping point. The key drivers are legislation, funding opportunities, and new technologies. Feds say the most impactful legislative initiatives are: (#1) The Cybersecurity Executive Order, (#2) The Cloud First Policy, and (#3) the MGT Act as well as FITARA. Technology priorities include cybersecurity, data management, infrastructure improvements, and advanced analytics.

Adding to the momentum, 76 percent expect increased IT modernization budgets in FY19. And, 69 percent agree their agency is tackling IT modernization in a more integrated, holistic way than ever before. While investment opportunities are on the horizon, the mix may be missing the mark. Feds estimate only 23 cents of every FY19 IT dollar will fund IT modernization efforts – in line with the well-known 80/20 operations and maintenance versus new development failing status quo.

“The confluence among IT, finance, and procurement tribes show the art of the possible, the contradictions expose why agencies aren’t getting IT transformation done,” says Steve O’Keeffe, Founder, MeriTalk. “We need to rethink investment priorities and double down on workforce training.”

Federal finance, IT, and procurement leaders don’t always see eye to eye. Forty-three percent of Federal finance decision makers say wholesale change in Federal IT is feasible and is happening now, versus just 27 percent of IT leaders and 24 percent of procurement leaders. The functions say their top priorities include strengthening cybersecurity, modernizing legacy systems, and harnessing emerging technologies. But, they disagree on the degree of importance. For example, 71 percent of Federal IT leaders say strengthening cybersecurity is a top priority versus 45 percent of Federal finance leaders.

“The Reimagining Government IT survey results are both surprising and insightful, in terms of showcasing the importance of IT modernization to government leaders, but highlighting key challenges yet to be addressed, most notably in workforce development and cybersecurity. Interestingly, agencies should also focus on recognizing and reconciling differing views amongst Finance, IT, and Procurement when it comes to modernization efforts,” stated Richard Spires, this year’s IAC Executive Chair.

Looking forward, all three groups say training and workforce development is critical. Just 28 percent are very confident in how their agency is preparing employees for the future of government IT.

Fed’s wish list for next-gen technology is to deliver improved efficiency (57 percent), cyber resilience (56 percent), and data accessibility (50 percent).

“Reimagining Government IT: An exploration of shared visions and challenges from IT’s biggest players” is based on an online survey of more than 300 Federal finance, IT, and procurement decision makers in July and August 2018. The study is underwritten by Amazon Web Services, Booz Allen Hamilton, Dell Technologies, Intel, Verizon, and Virtustream. The margin of error of ±5.51 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. To download the full report, please visit:

About MeriTalk

The voice of tomorrow’s government today, MeriTalk is a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT. Focusing on government’s hot-button issues, MeriTalk hosts the Big Data Exchange, Cloud Computing Exchange, Cyber Security Exchange, and Data Center Exchange – platforms dedicated to supporting public-private dialogue and collaboration. MeriTalk connects with an audience of 131,000 government community contacts. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter, @MeriTalk. MeriTalk is a 300Brand organization.

About American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC)

The American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) is a non-profit educational organization established to improve government's service delivery and operational performance through the effective and innovative application of technology. ACT-IAC provides a unique, objective and trusted collaborative forum where government and industry executives are working as partners to address critical issues, apply best practices and pioneer innovative solutions. ACT-IAC also provides high-quality learning and educational opportunities to improve the knowledge and expertise of the government workforce – both public and private. Further information about ACT-IAC can be found at


Lacy Cooper, 540-364-5913

Release Summary

MeriTalk and ACT-IAC released a report that reveals Federal IT modernization has reached a significant tipping point.


Lacy Cooper, 540-364-5913