Goodbye to Government

Following are classic models for outsourcing government information technology, but in practice there are numerous variations on each. If these models were placed on a continuum with GOGO (government-owned, government-operated) on the left and wholesale privatization on the right, the trend in the federal government today would be moving from left to right.
  • GOGO. At ground zero, the government owns and operates all the IT equipment, staff and resources. This model is rapidly disappearing.
  • Outsourcing Partnership. In this arrangement, the government owns the hardware and software licenses, and handles the general management of the IT facility, but outsources the technical staff. This type of arrangement is on the rise.
  • Co-sourcing. A government agency partners with more than one private firm and draws skills and expertise. This can be useful in cases where one company has the contract and equipment, and another company has the talent.
  • GOCO. Under a GOCO (government-owned, contractor-operated) arrangement, the government owns the hardware and software, but relies on a vendor to operate the information technology infrastructure.
  • COCO. In a COCO (contractor-owned, contractor-operated) setup, the government outsources the IT work and the contractor takes it off-site to its own facility.
  • Privatization. This is the ultimate form of outsourcing because not only does the government farm out the IT infrastructure and data processing, it hands over the function as well. An example would be an agency that turns over its payroll processing to a contractor. A variation is in-place privatization, where private industry takes over the operation of a government facility and hires all the employees. A major problem with privatization is that the government depreciates inventory differently than private industry. Inevitably, there is controversy over how much the government's IT equipment is worth at takeover time.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

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

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


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