Informing government decision makers through research & industry insights.

Federal Tech Execs Pessimistic About White House IT Priorities

April 9, 2014 - Last week, the White House surprised many supporters and critics alike when it announced that the Affordable Care Act had met its original target of enrolling seven million Americans in federally-funded health insurance exchanges by the March 31 deadline – exceeding the figure projected by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office by over one million enrollees.

In the weeks before the April 1 announcement, it is likely that anxiety surrounding the flawed Healthcare.gov rollout was felt nowhere more acutely than among federal officials working to execute the Obama Administration’s information technology goals.

From March 13-25, 2014, Government Business Council and Nextgov polled senior federal IT managers (those at the GS-14, GS-15, and SES level) on their attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs surrounding the Obama Administration’s major IT initiatives. Overall, their attitudes reflected a certain pessimism as to whether their agencies can keep pace with the administration’s ambitious agenda, given high public expectations and declining budgets.

Of the 74 executive respondents, only 8.1% are “very confident” in their agency’s ability to successfully execute the administration’s IT priorities, while 32.4% indicate that they are “not confident.” 

These findings perhaps indicate a preference for scaling-back expectations and favoring incremental improvements to government IT services, over revolutionary changes to the federal IT landscape. For instance, when asked to rank their agency’s most important goals in 2014, “IT service quality and accountability” was the top priority by a wide margin, as opposed to more forward-looking goals like the adoption of mobile technology, cloud computing, and open data. 

Perhaps less surprisingly, respondents cite a “lack of funding” as the greatest challenge to the success of the administration’s goals, noting that IT budgets have been largely flat since 2012. Nevertheless, several officials responded that fiscal constraints were less worrisome than the inability to match mission with personnel, particularly when it comes to utilizing the skills of younger and more tech-savvy federal employees.

While it is difficult to determine whether negative perceptions of Healthcare.gov might have affected federal tech managers’ attitudes, it will be interesting to see whether this pessimism remains stable even as the Obamacare enrollment saga ostensibly recedes from front-page headlines over the course of 2014.

Government Business Council and Nextgov will explore these and other questions further in our quarterly poll series. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts on the future of government IT, please take a moment to join our Federal Tech Insiders Panel.

Fill out my online form.

- Chris Cornillie, Research Analyst

Image: Flickr user Willow Burns

Disclaimer

This post is written by Government Business Council; it is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Government Executive Media Group's editorial staff. For more information, see our advertising guidelines.

FROM OUR SPONSORS

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.