How technology affects a leader’s role in government
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How technology affects a leader’s role in government

April 18, 2023

It is critical for political appointees and other federal leaders to understand that the success of virtually every program and policy is dependent on the effective use of technology, and that getting up-to-speed on an agency’s capabilities and vulnerabilities is an important part of the job. 

The Partnership’s Ready to Govern initiative has developed a resource with actionable steps for leaders in five different information technology priority areas: talent, customer experience, cybersecurity, legacy technology and procurement. These issues are applicable government-wide and represent challenges faced by leaders at every agency. 

Priority 1: Talent 

To ensure that employees have effective tools available to them, it is important for leaders to empower and train staff on how to best utilize modern digital systems to improve government service delivery and reduce administrative burdens. This is important for all staff, not only the technical staff.  

Priority 2: Customer Experience 

Focusing on the customer experience is crucial to delivering on the agency’s mission and meeting the needs of the public. In accordance with the recent executive order, designing and delivering services that are readily accessible to all members of the public and user-friendly is necessary to nurture trust in federal government.   

Priority 3: Cybersecurity 

It is important for leaders to meet with their agency’s chief information officer and other key technology officials to understand potential IT vulnerabilities and the strength of the cybersecurity workforce. Leaders should also familiarize themselves with the incident response plan needed to protect customer data and other important information in the event of a cyberattack or serious malfunction. 

Priority 4: Legacy Technology 

Legacy technology refers to systems that are outdated or not fully integrated with new systems. Leaders can work with their chief information officers to understand the risks associated with these older systems and what is needed both to bring them up-to-date and to ensure there are no critical vulnerabilities in data privacy. 

Priority 5: Procurement 

There are many options for improving procurement processes for digital services that leaders should explore and implement so that agency information technology can be upgraded to help improve service delivery and keep data and systems secure.  

For additional information on the steps leaders can take in these priority IT areas, please look at this Ready to Govern resource

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