Last week I had the opportunity to hear Linda Cureton (@curetonl), NASA CIO, at FedScoop’s 3rd Annual Lowering the Cost of Government with IT Summit in Washington DC, an event at which I also spoke (see the brief video we shot below). Linda was the first speaker of the morning and her presentation really resonated with me and the way we at Adobe are trying to help agencies lower the cost of government. She grabbed my attention early on, admittedly after a tough morning at the house, with her admonition “don’t eat your young”. She made many other great points such as: Don’t be penny-wise and pound foolish; and Measure twice, cut once. However, it was her “don’t eat your young” statement that I want to concentrate on for this post.
Linda made the point to urge her peers to view innovation as critical for survival. I couldn’t agree more during these times of budget cuts, budget deficits, and the necessity of having to do more with less. As IT leaders, this is the time to innovate. History teaches us that we have always come out of crisis periods stronger and this will be no different. As government IT leaders, we’ve got to change our way of thinking and Linda drove this point home for me and the audience. Innovation comes from every part of the organization, young, old or just plain-old middle aged like me. As Linda noted, we must encourage new money-saving ideas to continue to provide the services our citizens need.
There’s been much written as of late regarding the consumerization of IT, especially in regards to consolidation and virtualization of our data centers and infrastructures. As Linda noted in her presentation, the low-hanging fruit has been picked. I agree. Government agencies I speak to regularly have all standardized on commodity technologies like virtualization, storage, and networking. We’ve got to move up the stack now and focus on the application layer and how we can consumerize that and make it easier for citizens to engage with their governments on their terms (in person, on the phone, or online) and device (PC, Mac, tablet, mobile). If you’re a government IT leader and you’re looking for ways to save money, look no further. Driving citizen interactions online and off of the phone or a piece of paper will save you money. However, it does take thought and measurement.
That’s what we’re focused on at Adobe, trying to help government agencies move more and more of their interactions online. To drive that online adoption you’ve got to simplify and make that online experience engaging and intuitive. If it’s too hard to figure out online, I know what I personally do. I either skip to another site (not an option for citizens) or I hop on the phone (an expensive option for agencies). At Adobe, we help governments create rich online content with the world’s best digital editing tools. We help move this content online and streamline business processes with best of breed enterprise solutions like the Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform, which helps you leverage the current investments you’ve made in ERP and document management systems. After you’ve moved content and business processes online you need to ensure people like me aren’t abandoning your site because it’s too hard or complicated. We help ensure that doesn’t happen with our Online Marketing Suite. As Linda might say we help you measure twice and cut once, be penny wise, and also help keep your young safe and sound…