For the past two years, federal agencies have been graded on their adoption and implementation of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA). Agencies are scored in the following categories:
- Data Center Consolidation
- IT Portfolio Review Savings
- Incremental Development
- Risk Assessment Transparency
What have the results of this assessment revealed? Though agencies have made progress, they are still struggling to manage their IT spending. A recent survey conducted by GovLoop and Apptio, found that 55% of 295 public-sector employees surveyed do not believe federal IT managers are fully aware of their agencies’ IT investments and their value. Neither are their agency’s non-technical leaders, according to 72% of respondents.
These findings are reflected in the 2016 FITARA scorecard, with zero of the 24 agencies scoring an “A” and only one receiving a “B” grade.
Change and progress take time. The Technology Business Management (TBM) Council is committed to supporting both public and private sector IT leaders establish better transparency and collaboration around their IT spending.
Cutting out IT Redundancies
“Infrastructure remains a common source of inefficiency, oftentimes the results of maintaining too much unused capacity.” – Todd Tucker, Technology Business Management, The Four Value Conversations CIOs Must Have With Their Businesses
One of the key scoring criteria for FITARA is around data center consolidation. The Office of Management and Budget requires agencies to provide an update to their data center inventory, a strategy for optimization and consolidation, and quarterly updates on their progress. A letter grade is issued based on how much of the planned savings has been realized.
TBM enables IT leaders to manage multiple data centers as a portfolio. When measuring costs, TBM takes into account data center costs in their entirety on a total and a per-unit basis. This includes rack units, square footage, location, purpose, tier, depreciation, leases, power, cooling, and additional overhead. These metrics allow you to compare your multiple data centers and determine their overall cost effectiveness.
Having detailed insights into your costs and their causes allow agencies to determine where it makes the most sense to host new applications, optimize costs, and/or decommission inefficient infrastructure.
Creating Inner-Agency Transparency
“When employed by your IT organization and with your business partners, transparency allows you to exploit the forces of supply and demand, empower your people to make value-based decisions, and accelerate initiatives that are important to your business.” – Todd Tucker, Technology Business Management, The Four Value Conversations CIOs Must Have With Their Businesses
Excelling in the four categories requires an enhanced level of transparency. Agencies must report on their IT investment portfolios, including the ability to deliver timely functionality and manage risk. Getting to the granularity needed to generate these reports may seem like a monumental task, but it is essential for IT leaders to gain a better understanding of their current resources and begin planning for their agencies’ ever-changing needs. Agencies are often held back from establishing a more transparent organization because of the challenge of articulating reports in a way that is relevant for the rest of the agency.
A taxonomy is necessary to standardize how IT leaders report costs and other metrics. The TBM Taxonomy is a common language for IT, finance, and additional agency stakeholders. It allows for agencies to compare and benchmark their costs to their peers and third-party vendors. Adopting the TBM Taxonomy drives consistency among stakeholders and gives CIOs and their teams the visibility FITARA requires into their cost-for-performance.
Download the Federal IT Cost Commission Report
“The goal of the TBM Taxonomy is to enable a consistent method to define, analyze, and report on all aspects of IT spending and to enable measurement of IT value for improved decision making.” – The Federal IT Cost Commission Report
The Federal IT Cost Commission Report was released in 2016 by the IT Cost Commission, and provides recommendations on how federal IT leaders can adopt and adapt the TBM Taxonomy in order to improve transparency, reduce waste, increase efficiency and the value of IT spending. Download the report to gain full access to the recommendations and learn how TBM can support your overall FITARA score.