A Look at the Technology Agenda Under the New Obama Administration

As President Barack Obama digs into his second term in the White House, many are wondering what government information technology initiatives will take place over the next four years. If his track record and industry analyst predictions are any indication, we can look forward to a more mobile, cloud-based government ready to take advantage of the full potential that next-generation technology has to offer.

In his first four years, President Obama gained a reputation as something of a technology trail-blazer by unveiling a far-reaching cloud computing initiative that promised to cut IT infrastructure costs, reduce federal energy consumption and streamline government IT. Among his first-term successes, the President created the first U.S. Chief Technology Officer position, launched a series of “Lab to Market” initiatives to streamline government technology-transfer procedures and pushed groundbreaking plans to equip U.S. Navy ships with mobile 4G LTE wireless networks.

Leading up to the 2012 presidential election, President Obama pledged once again to use technology to transform the way our government works.  As part of a refreshed technology agenda, the President committed to placing greater emphasis on shared platforms to reduce costs, streamline development, standardize practices, and ensure consistency across government systems. A next-generation national broadband network, the deployment of a seamless wireless public safety system and a reinvigorated U.S. military IT infrastructure fully equipped for the digital age are just some of the technology advancements President Obama hopes to accomplish.

Here are some of the biggest predictions for government IT updates under the second-term Obama administration:

  • Mobility Everywhere: Mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smart phones have become increasingly attractive to federal agencies and organizations, yet many government programs have struggled with their own mobile deployments due to security and policy restraints. That will soon change; IDC estimates 35 percent of new federal and state applications and 45 percent of new local applications will become mobile by the end of 2013. The demand for mobile device deployments will rise exponentially as agencies become more proficient at adopting new technology portfolios and learn to strategize their hardware for “best-use” scenarios. 
  • Federal Government Will Reach Further for the Cloud: Cloud computing promises increased efficiency, reduced costs and enhanced collaboration within federal, state and local governments. With the guidance of the Digital Government Strategy and cloud computing initiatives, agencies have become increasingly information-centric, shifting from just managing “documents” to now managing discrete pieces of data and content. These systems have created a ripe opportunity for cloud services, and IDC analysts predict that cloud adoption will continue to accelerate this year by more than 50 percent over 2012 levels. This means that federal agencies will be rapidly advancing new IT procurement and provisioning models in order to take full advantage of Big Data solutions. 
  • A Even Bigger Drive for Big Data Integration: After President Obama and his team demonstrated the power of Big Data last year during the 2012 presidential campaign the appeal of greater social insights will continue to gain traction within government circles. The Department of Treasury has also increased its budget request to $3.5 billion, up from $3.2 billion in 2012, to support its goal of having 50 percent virtualized servers by 2015. A push for virtualized networks will generate strong demand for Big Data solutions deployments, which the IDC expects will grow by more than a 30 percent annual growth rate in 2013. As the availability of open data expands, the analytics deployments of agencies such as the FBI will continue to improve operations by simplifying processes for analyzing and identifying past crimes and future trends.

As the Obama Administration surges into its second term one thing is certain, 2012 was just the tip of the iceberg. In the years ahead, America will embrace the benefits of mobile devices, the cloud and the power of Big Data more than ever before.

What direction do you see government technology going in the next four years?

Image credit: Flickr user cpence