Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent

The Obama administration is under tremendous pressure to make government more effective and efficient–but not spend money to make it happen. Tough job. It’s even tougher when you consider that the White House needs to cut the federal deficit even while improving America’s competitiveness.

But a proposal released today by leaders in the tech industry could make the task a bit easier. The Technology CEO Council, which includes the chief executives of IBM, Intel, Dell, EMC, Motorola and other companies, laid out recommendations aimed at saving the federal government $1 trillion over a 10-year period. One of the most attractive aspects of the proposal is that it doesn’t require a lot of up-front investments to produce sustainable, long-term gains.

The recommendations include reducing energy use in data centers, consolidating facilities, streamlining supply chains, sharing administrative systems, shifting from staff-heavy systems to electronic self-service, and using analytic tools to ferret out waste and fraud.  Here’s a link to the New York Times story about the proposal.

Every new US administration launches an efficiency program, and President Obama’s is no exception. Federal chief performance officer Jeff Zients (now the acting head of the Office of Management and Budget) is aggressively searching for smart ways to cut costs. And CIO Vivek Kundra, who works for Zients, is consolidating data centers and shifting some software applications to more efficient cloud computing models. Hopefully, this encouragement from the tech industry will help them get stuff done. Zients responded immediately with this blog post, Seeing Eye to Eye with the Tech Council.

The 12-page TCC report is peppered with specifics aimed at helping government agencies do more with less.  Motorola, for instance, saves about $1.2 billion a year as a result of integrating its supply chains. “Most of these won’t require big investments,” says Jonathan D. Breul, executive director of the IBM Center for The Business of Government and a former Office of Management and Budget senior adviser.  “A lot of it is management discipline. A lot of money is being spent needlessly. It’s a matter of redirecting it to activities that will save money.”

As IBM and Dell CEOs Sam Palmisano and Michael Dell laid out today in Politico, there are plenty of examples of how this can work from governments across the country.  For instance, by using predictive technology, New York State is validating tax refund requests, saving $889 million by catching improper refunds.

It’s going to take a lot of this kind of innovative thinking to solve the federal government’s money problems. Today’s announcement looks like it could help get the creative juices flowing.

Do you have any novel ideas for making government more efficient? Any new business models that would minimize technology costs for government agencies?

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December 17, 2013
9:43 am

Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn something like this before. So good to search out any person with some authentic ideas on this subject. realy thanks for beginning this up. this web site is one thing that’s wanted on the net, somebody with somewhat originality. helpful job for bringing one thing new to the web!

Posted by: Aron Ahnell
December 28, 2012
11:31 pm

Thanks for the FANTASTIC post! This information is really good and thanks a lot for sharing it. I’m looking forward desperately for the next post of yours.Dirk Kettlewell

Posted by: Hazel Manlosa
March 30, 2011
7:27 pm

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Posted by: Current Version Plugin Google Update
November 4, 2010
10:26 am

Steve, thank you for posting a link to the actual document. i spent 10 minutes this morning looking for something besides an announcement. As someone involved in the federal data center consolidation initiative (FDCCI), i am keenly interested in both the sources of the information as well as how OMB is actually implementing.

Posted by: chris
October 20, 2010
11:58 am

Of course, these “efficiencies” can save money, but get real, folks! Only HHS, DoD, and interest on the debt put us > 5% over budget. All the rest of the Federal Government combined is only ~2% of expenditures. This comes from charts included on every Federal Income tax information booklet. You can’t touch the interest, so the only really big bucks have to come from HHS (principally Social Security and Medicare) and DoD (like getting out of Iraq & Afganistan). Since cutting these gore so many oxen, they are (so far) politically untouchable, but cuts here (HHS and DoD) have to happen sooner or later.

Posted by: Robert Black
October 7, 2010
3:35 pm

We are in the electronic and aerospace distribution business. The industries are facing tremendous challenges keeping existing electronic equipment operation that very long lifecycles. Many of the parts they need are available, but lack required Certificates of Authenticity (CofA), thus costing the US an enormous amount of waste as equipment sits dormant, goes obsolete, or more expensive redesign options are put in place. The CofA’s are helpful in fighting counterfeit components, but if the DoD, DLA and DSCC would open the door to a “Recertification” program then we could save literally $Billions a year from existing inventory collecting dust on shelves of hundreds of companies, and help solve the multiple $Billions lost to counterfeiting. This would improve efficiences.

Posted by: Daniel McMillen
October 7, 2010
12:34 pm

Good idea. I know that Zients and his colleagues are bringing efficiency disciplines to DC, but don’t know if the Lean/Sigma combination is one of them.

Posted by: Steve Hamm
October 7, 2010
12:22 pm

Why can’t the government (fed and states) adopt lean sigma to improve efficiencies and cut costs. We do it all the time in businesses and save tons of money.

Posted by: sri reddi
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