How to reform an $80 billion IT portfolio

Monday - 5/16/2011, 11:08am EDT

WFED's Amy Morris with Sanjeev "Sonny" Bhagowalia, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, GSA

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By Andrew Mitchell
Federal News Radio

Despite ongoing and predicted cuts to the federal budget, government IT managers will have to continue to fulfill their obligations to the public. And that will require them to be more "agile" than ever, according to Sanjeev "Sonny" Bhagowalia, the Deputy Associate Administrator of the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies at GSA.

Speaking with Federal News Radio's Amy Morris at the Management of Change Conference in Virginia, Bhagowalia said that government information technology professionals must move away from "the traditional stovepipe budgeting process" toward a "horizontal fusion" approach.

In fact, Bhagowalia foresees big changes in the next nine to twelve months.

"I think that one of the things that's going to happen is, first, there is going to be a lot of budget cutting in terms of infrastructure services, which are commodity services," he said.

Bhagowalia explained that the government will embrace what is called "utility computing," which involves fee-for-service usage, "just like your electricity or whatever."

"That has been the big vision of IT," he said, "the promise all of us CIOs or former CIOs were dreaming of."

Second, according to Bhagowalia, "there will be a chance to reinvest those savings into mission support."

"And I think helping those programs and missions achieve their objectives by working with them will be very, very beneficial," he added.

As for his own background, Bhagowalia said that his time with the Boeing Co. has helped him greatly in working for the federal government.

"There is nothing like being out on the front lines and actually learning and seeing how you want to prepare solutions that are not the standard canned solutions from the ivory tower," he said. "You really want to be out there listening and learning, and I think that's when the best solutions and the most innovative solutions come out."

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