How the TMF can allow for big improvements across the government
Agencies can learn from experience how investments in modernization can be maintained and scaled over time as they prepare their first round of proposals for the Technological Modernization Fund (TMF). Specifically, the TMF guidelines of the Office of Management and Budgets (OMB) call for proposals that reach the entire government company to include:
audience- or agency-oriented shared services, including the technical infrastructure that can provide agency technology teams with a scalable and secure basis for the rapid creation and modernization of digital services.
Our first two posts on how to enable TMF success focused on how the fund could drive larger reforms between IT budgets and how a strong link between TMF and cybersecurity can lead to better asset returns. high value of the agency (its most critical mission) and business systems). This third publication talks about the long-term value of adopting a business approach to TMF investments, in line with OMB guidelines.
Linking the TMF to shared services continues with a long-standing strategy to modernize government programs led by agencies that have experience and expertise in specific domains. The current “Quality Service Management Offices” (QSMOs) for financial management, human resources, grant management and cybersecurity demonstrate the continuity of this approach; the four QSMOs have their origins in the lines of business that began as part of the 2002 funding strategy that drove IT modernization, with the incorporation of cybers into the list two years later.
The current QSMO construction provides a clear channel for TMF investments to support expansion in these four critical areas of government operations. Each QSMO is governed by a leading agency that collaborates across the government to promote services that meet high standards. For example, the Treasury’s financial management experience enables solutions for other agencies to provide social services to the public with accuracy and integrity, and the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency’s cyber experience supports modern approaches to data protection. information and assets of agencies serving the public. TMF funding to support this construction of government enterprises will provoke and accelerate the efforts reaching out to various agencies, increasing the return on this investment by modernizing processes beyond a single program or project.
Similarly, several agencies continue to develop business services approaches that come through their own programs in a way that allows their offices to focus on mission outcomes while relying on the core delivery of common functions. The Commerce and Labor departments are among the leaders of the agencies in this space and the impact of the TMF is broadened by making investments that support business approaches of additional agencies.
Another path for investments with impact between agencies reaches the level of infrastructure, as indicated in the OMB guide. As each agency invests in modern computing capabilities that focus on “cloud computing” platforms, the adoption of open and secure cloud platforms between agencies becomes a critical success factor for the development of digital services. robust; a recent IBM Center report highlights the benefits of open cloud infrastructure that supports open and interoperable applications. TMF funding that promotes a pilot, prototype, and scalable cloud-based infrastructure will also fund the foundation for digital applications, which agencies can tailor based on iterative improvement and public feedback over time.
This integration of government modernization at the level of shared infrastructure and services with agency-specific digital investments provides a way for agencies to leverage TMF for investment in systems and applications with scalable and sustainable returns over time, in accordance with TMF objectives and OMB implementation guidelines. This strategy can have a significant resonance and foster an improved experience for people receiving government services, the subject of the next and final publication of our series.
Dan Chenok is executive director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government.
Margaret (Margie) H. Graves is a visiting fellow at the IBM Center for the Business of Government. She previously served as deputy director of the federal CIO.