Top 10 Government IT Predictions For 2011 - InformationWeek

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12/28/2010
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Top 10 Government IT Predictions For 2011

Federal agencies will deliver on current IT projects, like cloud computing and data center consolidation, while tackling open government, cybersecurity defense, and privacy in the post-WikiLeaks era.

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2. Open Government Meets Resistance

Observers are already beginning to say that the administration's open government efforts are defined as much by their gaps as their successes. In the coming year, while there will be bright spots, open government will continue to struggle amid concerns about confidentiality and privacy.

While all agencies today meet the baseline requirements of open government, pressure to increase privacy and confidentiality in the wake of WikiLeaks' release of diplomatic correspondence will provide countervailing forces. Information sharing could see the greatest chill. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in late November that the information sharing "aperture" was open "too wide." Already, the White House has ordered agencies to review their information security efforts, and the State Department has taken its cables off its networks.

That's not to say there won't be progress in certain areas. The White House and some agencies will focus not just on releasing more data sets, but on marketing that data and facilitating community engagement around it. OMB recently named an evangelist for Data.gov to build the site's new community section and to increase outreach to academia and other organizations. Expect to see an increasing internationalization of open government as well, along the lines of an open government partnership with India that was announced in November.

3. Data Centers Begin Closing

If 2010 was planning time for the government-wide Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (DCCI), 2011 will be when agencies begin to act on those plans. The White House has set a goal of decreasing the number of federal data centers by 40% within five years. Individual agencies' action plans are being reviewed by OMB, which will release those plans early in 2011 and integrate them into fiscal 2012.

Even though designated funding won't become available until September 2011, when fiscal 2012 begins, agencies will have time to get started on "quick wins" before then by using existing infrastructure funding, evaluating cloud computing options, and beginning virtualization and application consolidation efforts.

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