Digital transformation is progressing at a steady pace in the federal government. And, it’s starting to fundamentally change the way an agency achieves its mission. Understanding the value of data and analytics has been ingrained in the culture, and now the focus across government has been ratcheted up a level. Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot about “data centricity.”
Digital transformation requires a fundamental shift in federal IT. It’s been building for a few years now and will have broad implications for the types of technology investments agencies will look to make in the future.
Federal agencies are beginning to realize that not only is data a core asset and essential element in digital transformation, they know they need to start making investments in the stewardship and utilization of that data. It’s not enough to just have data or protect data, that data needs to be operationalized and transformed from data to knowledge to action – and support the execution of the mission.
At a recent AFCEA breakfast, speakers from the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security affirmed the increasing understanding within their agency of the value of the data they capture throughout the course of their operations. It’s fair to note here that agencies have been talking about making better use of their data for years; but, much like we’ve seen the slow and steady progression to cloud adoption, I believe we’re seeing a steady progression toward realizing the importance of data and turning it into actionable intelligence to enable the mission.
So how can solutions providers help? Tailor your messaging to the government stakeholder you’re having a conversation with. You will have to talk about data differently to someone in a mission role than you would to someone in the IT department. A one-size-fits-all approach isn’t going to work. You will need to modulate your message depending on which department you are talking to.
But at the heart of everything you do, make sure you’re talking about data centricity and how your solution can secure the data, display an audit trail of who interacted with the data or improve the ability of agencies to store and retrieve the data.
In their journey down the digital transformation path, agencies will be placing a higher demand on technologies that enable them to better understand their data; and this shift can be advantageous to solution vendors who have focused on messaging around data as an asset. Talk to mission leaders about how your solution enables them to execute on the services they’re required to deliver to citizens. Talk to IT groups about how you can protect the data, share the data or better store the data. And if you aren’t building a story around data centricity yet, start thinking about how your tools align with this increasingly important concept.
Tom O’Keefe is a consultant on the Market Intelligence team at immixGroup, an Arrow company. The team uses a research-driven approach to help technology companies develop successful business strategies to sell to the public sector. To find out more about how the team can help expand your public sector business, click here.
Last modified: June 10, 2019