Opinion: Tim Harvey of G2X FedCiv Gazes into the Federal IT Crystal Ball for 2020


As we approach a new year and a new decade, G2X FedCiv’s Tim Harvey shares five things he sees on the horizon for the Federal IT sector in 2020.  

Election Security 

2020 is an election year and as we approach November, there will be a steady increase in stories about election security. Some will be well-researched, others won’t and many will sound the alarm about a potential election crisis. To cut through the noise and stay on top of the latest scuttlebutt, you may want to start following a cybersecurity and election security expert like Joshua Franklin, formerly of NIST and now with the Center for Internet Security. Look for the election security community to offer some of the only non-partisan information on the topic as election talk begins to heat up. 

IT Modernization 

Things were also heated recently when the Government Accountability Office took OMB and GSA to task for oversight and cost recovery in a report on the Technology Modernization Fund. OMB and GSA were not happy with the findings, and fired back, saying the report was flawed. Expect GAO to poke holes in more things related to IT Modernization in 2020, and look for Federal agencies to hold their ground. Part of the reason battle lines will be drawn in the coming year is that in today’s IT Modernization landscape, becoming more efficient is of greater importance than saving money. Look for Congressional and Government oversight bodies that simply look at the bottom line to continue to stymie modernization efforts. 

Robotic Process Automation 

Meanwhile, there will be no such debate regarding Robotic Process Automation in 2020. More and more Federal CFOs will embrace this technology in the coming year, which tells you all you need to know about the ROI of RPA. I interviewed Federal RPA pioneer Jim Walker back in September, and he summed up RPA’s ROI “as freeing people to perform the work they were intended to perform and integrating Bots into the process so we stop working for our computers.” Jim compared RPA to the curve of a hockey stick and as 2020 progresses down the stick toward the heel, look for some stunning statistics to emerge on the number of labor hours saved by the Federal workforce thanks to automation. 

Human-Centric Approach 

As RPA and other technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning continue to emerge in the Federal workplace, look for the term “human-centric” to be used more frequently in 2020. Not only will there be greater human-centric design approaches to the technology interfaces used in Federal agencies and for citizen engagement, but there will also be a shift from traditional Human Resources to human-centric HR as increased automation pushes agencies to focus on the retraining and reskilling of their IT employees. Some media stories will make dire predictions about automation costing millions of jobs, while others will tout the workforce changing for the better with jobs featuring less redundancy and more creativity. Be prepared for an increased debate about the future of the Federal IT workforce during the year.  

G2Xchange 

Growth and change in 2020 won’t be limited to the Federal Government. In the coming year, G2Xchange will launch more products to help make the job of the Federal IT and Consulting executive much easier. If you are focused on a specific technology such as RPA, we’ve got you covered. If you are looking for a better way to identify teaming partners, we’ve got your back. If you are looking for more concise reports on awards, protests and industry moves, we hear you. Buckle up. The coming year in Federal IT will be very exciting and so too will your journey with G2Xchange. Happy New Year! 

Is Tim’s Federal IT crystal ball clear, cloudy or broken? Using the comments section below, we’d love to hear your predictions for 2020 as well as any feedback you have on G2Xchange. 

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