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Quick take: Casey Coleman, Senior Vice President for Global Public Sector at Salesforce, testified Tuesday that modern, cloud-based platforms can support federal IT modernization.
Why it’s important: The successful operation of government IT is an important factor in our country’s efforts to protect the nation, provide economic stability, improve public health, and carry out other critical missions. While the world’s largest banks, manufacturers, healthcare companies and retailers have already moved to the cloud, the federal government has been slower to modernize.
Coleman was invited to testify before the U.S. Senate’s Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight Subcommittee of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to share her insights as the former CIO of the General Services Administration (GSA).
During her time at GSA, Coleman led a multi-year modernization program to move the agency to the cloud, improve security, and transform service delivery for its employees and customers.
In-depth: Too often, obsolete IT is an obstacle for government agencies, making the experience fragmented, opaque, and confusing for employees and citizens alike. Moving to the cloud, with access to rapid innovation and secure online services, can fundamentally improve government service delivery and mission execution.
What Coleman said:
- “Over $92 billion annually is spent on federal IT systems. All functions of government depend on their successful operation, including our nation’s defense, public health, service to citizens, economic stability and much more.”
- “In 2020, we saw many governments respond almost overnight to COVID-19 challenges, rolling out digital services for contact tracing, quarantine management, unemployment claims, emergency benefits, vaccine management, and much more. We saw years of modernization compressed into a few months.”
- “This rapid pace of response was enabled by innovative digital cloud platforms — commercially-delivered solutions, providing secure, prebuilt components that are nimble enough to accommodate both private and public sector needs.”
- “Technology modernization is absolutely essential in order to ensure the federal government is able to deliver its critical missions for the good of our nation. I am confident that this is achievable and have observed first-hand what can be achieved, and the trust dividend that successful modernization delivers.”
More information: Coleman’s full testimony is available on the Committee website. Read it here.