Innovation & modernization in federal IT

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This week on Federal Tech Talk, host John Gilroy interviews Sundar Vaidyanathan, co-founder, and CEO of Karsun Solutions. The company has distinguished itself over the years with many awards including one of the fastest-growing companies in Virginia. Vaidyanathan takes the time to explain to the federal audience how to accomplish large scale modernization and some of the new tools that are available to federal information technology professionals.

Being able to innovate at scale means that your company must have an idea of what tools to deploy. When Vaidyanathan started, they dedicated an innovation center to be able to test out new applications to see if they would have an impact on federal systems. New products are great, but it would seem prudent to test them on trial systems to see the strengths and weaknesses.

Head shot of Vaidyanathan
Sundar Vaidyanathan, co-founder & CEO, Karsun Solutions

The federal government, like the civilian entities, must have funds available to pay for innovation. If most of an agency’s budget goes to maintenance, then this becomes a challenge.

Vaidyanathan explains to listeners the differences between the Modernizing Government Technology Act, the Technology Modernization Fund, and the IT Working Capital Fund.

To sum it up: an agency must put together a proposal. Most of these proposals seem to be in the two to the four-million-dollar range. From there, they justify the reason for the “loan.” The agency deploys the solution and pays back the loan. It is a self-funding way to innovate in the federal environment.

Everyone is interested in how a federal partner handles projects during a crisis. At the beginning of the interview, Vaidyanathan talks about how they changed the standard process of teams meeting together to rapidly respond to the unique situation of enterprise modernization with remote teams.

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Host John Gilroy of The Oakmont Group speaks the language of federal CISOs, CIOs and CTOs, and gets into the specifics for government IT systems integrators. Follow John on Twitter. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Podcast One.

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