More to innovation in government than 'coolness' factor

Tuesday - 10/25/2011, 4:55pm EDT

David McClure, associate administrator in the Office of Citizen Services & Innovative Technologies, GSA

Download mp3

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

Budget cuts could be pushing agencies to develop more innovative approaches to IT management.

David McClure, associate administrator in the Office of Citizen Services & Innovative Technologies at the General Services Administration, moderated a panel called "Evolve or Perish - Using Business Innovation in Lean Times" at the 2011 Executive Leadership Conference.

In an interview after the panel with In Depth with Francis Rose, McClure said government is embracing innovation not simply for the "coolness" factor but for actual cost-savings.

"A lot of innovation now is quick hits," McClure said.

Agencies are seeking "no brainer" solutions to help save resources and perform more efficiently, he said. The result is not one huge leap but "incremental changes," McClure said.

Agencies' adoption of agile IT development is a good example of innovation in small chunks, rather than a systemwide overhaul.

McClure said he has recommended the White House launch Innovation.gov to share ideas.

"I think what's happened in the last year is that we have so much innovation activity in the government that's uncoordinated. There's not a single place to go," he said.

The Obama administration has embraced innovation platforms like Challenge.gov and Data.gov.

"I think it's getting legs," McClure said of Innovation.gov. "Longer legs, anyways."

Check out more interviews and coverage from the 2011 Executive Leadership Conference.