How can agencies address technical debt?

Karina Homme

The federal government has an estimated $7 billion in technical debt causing increased risk to government as this debt accumulates. Much of this is due to agencies that have deferred maintenance or reduced funding for initiatives due to budgetary constraints. This tactic, left unmanaged, can lead to significant costs later especially if it results in a system breach or failure.

With the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act signed into law Dec 12, we expect to see agencies increasingly prioritize the importance of modernizing legacy systems and eliminating the technology debt.

But the question is how?

Gartner’s report, Top Seven Priorities for U.S. Federal CIOs, outlines opportunities for Federal CIOs to address infrastructure technology debt.

One of their recommendations is to collaborate with chief financial officers and chief acquisition officers to create a compelling business case and strategy to shift from a capital expenditure (capex) dominant model to one focused more on operating expenditure (opex).

Shifting models in this way enables the use of as-a-service offerings, so agencies can shed non-differentiated services and offload commodity workloads. This frees up time and resources to focus on advancing the mission and improving citizen services. 

Take a deeper look into how Federal CIOs can reinvent legacy systems in Gartner’s Top Seven Priorities for U.S. Federal CIOs.

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