On August 31, the White House released a report developed by the American Technology Counsel (ATC), Office of Management and Budget, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Commerce, and General Services Administration addressing the objectives of and a plan for the modernization of federal information technology (IT).

Historically, modernization has been a problem due to factors such as resource prioritization, the inability to procure services quickly, and technical issues. The report splits these issues into two groups—the modernization and consolidation of networks and the use of shared services to enable future network architectures.

Network Modernization and Consolidation

In the report, the ATC calls for government agencies to maximize the secure use of cloud computing, modernize government-hosted applications, and securely maintain legacy systems. In addition, the report calls for the consolidation and improvement of the acquisition of network services.

Specific actions for government agencies under this focus include the following:

  • Prioritizing the modernization of high-risk, high-value assets to best serve the American people
  • Modernizing the Trusted Internet Connections and National Cybersecurity Protection System program to enable cloud migration
  • Consolidating network acquisitions and management to take advantage of the economies of scale and to minimize duplicative investment in existing capabilities

Shared Services to Enable Future Network Architectures

The ATC also calls for the government to shift to a model that uses centralized offerings for commodity IT.

Specific actions for government agencies under this focus include the following:

  • Enabling the use of commercial cloud technologies
  • Accelerating the adoption of cloud email and collaboration tools
  • Improving existing and providing additional security shared services

The report includes 44 recommendations to meet these objectives, which are assigned to specific agencies and departments in the US government, and most have deadlines of between 30 days to a year. The government also has made it clear that it intends to work closely with the private sector to achieve these goals and use best practices.