Pillars of Modernization in Government


The Obama administration’s fiscal 2017 budget request to create a 3.1 billion IT Modernization Fund created a huge buzz in the federal community.

The White House gave the proposal a big boost in early April when it teamed with Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to propose and plan to introduce legislation to create the fund.

This $3.1 billion fund would work in a straight forward manner. The Office of Management and Budget would create a board to choose, oversee and manage agency projects. Tony Scott, the federal CIO, told Federal News Radio recently that among the major evaluation factors the board will use are whether the business case includes good cyber hygiene, the adoption of more modern technology and shared capabilities.

OMB has been clear it will not fund every agency’s modernization projects, nor will it be the main source of funding. But it will get agencies over the notorious hump of needing seed money to get started down the modernization path.

Whether or not Congress supports the fund, OMB ushering agencies down the IT modernization path.

A draft memo working its way through the interagency comment period would give departments a set of deadlines to prepare to submit business cases for the fund.

A major piece of this effort would be for every agency to come up with at least three high-priority systems based on OMB’s criteria. OMB encourages agencies in the draft policy to submit more than three systems, but at a minimum three that need to be modernized.

But IT modernization is happening beyond the buzz around this 3 billion dollar fund.

Agencies are under pressure to consolidate and optimize data centers. This leads to CIOs looking at network and application modernization efforts.

In the end, the goal for OMB and agencies is to swing the pendulum away from legacy systems and more toward modernization efforts. The current breakdown is 76 percent to 24 percent legacy spending to modernization spending.

Federal CIO Scott knows changing ratio would mean better security, better services to citizens and therefore a better government.



Jason MillerJason Miller, Federal News Radio

Jason Miller is an executive editor and reporter with Federal News Radio. As executive editor, Jason helps direct the news coverage of the station and works with reporters to ensure a broad range of coverage of federal technology, procurement, finance and human resource news.As a reporter, Jason focuses mainly on technology and procurement issues, including cybersecurity, e-government and acquisition policies and programs.



Harrell WatkinsHarrell Watkins, Chief Operating Officer and Director of the Office of Technology Operations and Planning at the Environmental Protection Agency

Harrell Watkins is EPA’s Chief Operating Officer and Director of the Office of Technology Operations and Planning. He brings over 20 years of experience creating, delivering and managing innovative, cutting-edge strategic and operational information technology. Harrell is a senior leader, advisor and subject matter expert on all aspects of IT issues. He provides expertise in information sharing and architecture, strategic planning, E-Government, customer relationship management, IT policy and planning, IT governance, and negotiations. Before coming to EPA, Harrell’s federal service includes positions with the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Treasury.


Dave BennettDave Bennett, Chief Information Officer at the Defense Information Systems Agency

Mr. David (Dave) B. Bennett is the Director, Implementation and Sustainment Center (IM) for the Defense Information Systems Agency. He provides available, reliable, and secure capabilities in support of DoD Information Networks (DoDIN).


Bill ZielinskiBill Zielinski, Director of Strategic Programs at the General Services Administration

Bill Zielinski is the Director of the Office of Strategic Programs (OSP) within the Office of Integrated Technology Services (ITS) in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) and an IT Category Executive. The Federal Acquisition Service provides buying platforms and acquisition services to Federal, State and Local governments for a broad range of items from office supplies to motor vehicles to information technology and telecommunications products and services. As an organization within FAS, ITS provides access to a wide range of commercial and custom IT products, services and solutions.

The OSP centralizes oversight of strategic government-wide IT programs.  It is responsible for responding to Executive Orders, OMB Directives, and federal agencies’ customer needs.  The office develops and defines optimum solutions, including acquisition vehicles and managed services, to best meet agencies’ needs to obtain best value and cost effectiveness. Mr. Zielinski oversees all of the OSP program offices including: the Software Center of Excellence (SmartBuy), HSPD-12 (USAccess Program), Cybersecurity Services, the Cloud Program Management Office and ITS’ Center for GWAC Programs including Alliant, Alliant Small Business, 8(a) Stars II, and VETS.


Randall ConwayRandall Conway, Principal Director to the Deputy CIO for Information Enterprise at the Department of Defense

Mr. Randall G. Conway is a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and is currently serving as the Principal Director to the Deputy CIO for Information Enterprise. Mr. Conway has extensive experience in planning, training, operating, engineering and managing communications systems, services, and applications within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, The Joint Staff, United States Army, Joint Operational Commands and Organizations, and the MITRE Corporation. As the Principal Director to the Deputy CIO for Information Enterprise, Mr. Conway provides technical expertise, policy guidance, and leadership to drive OSD processes and actions to realize an integrated Department-wide implementation of the Joint Information Environment (JIE) and its primary sub-component called the Joint Regional Security Stack (JRSS) capability. Additionally, he advances other DCIO and CIO priorities in the areas of cloud computing, mission partner environment, and enterprise services for the larger DoD Information Enterprise. He supervises the development of implementation plans, budgets, their execution, measurements, resourcing strategies, and ensures DoD-wide information technology standards are prescribed and enforced and recommends the elimination of duplicative IT systems within the DoD information environment.


PrincePrince Anand, Director of Federal, Insight Public Sector

Prince Anand, a 23-year veteran of the federal IT industry, is the Director of Federal Sales at Insight Public Sector. In that role he manages the entire federal sales operation and is responsible for delivering on plan all of the federal sales goals. As a market leader at Insight, he has led the creation of deeper partner relationships, business development efforts, and proposal strategies that have led to double-digit growth in each of the last 3 years. His impetus throughout his sales and management career has been to use the power of technology to solve business challenges within the government. That is the primary message he conveys to Insight’s customers on behalf of Insight and Insight’s many technology partners.  He also serves at the primary voice communicating to Insight’s senior leadership the nature of federal business and the resources required to capture and retain that business. Under his guidance Insight has retooled the sales organization to better support the federal group.  Consequently, federal Insight now has a more visible presence, both among other industry players and among government agencies.  Prior to his role at Insight, Prince worked at GTSI and ran his own sales and consulting business.  In those role he honed his technology, sales and entrepreneurship skills which have been important to his success at Insight.