Federal Information Technology Reform Act (FITARA)
For 18 years, 1E has been enabling our customers to automate the full software lifecycle across their business. Through Software Lifecycle Automation employees become more productive, the organization becomes more agile, and their IT departments more reactive to change – able to automate more processes, and save money.
It is this mission that excites me to be at 1E and see the largest purchaser of software in the world, the US Government, moving forward on implementing a strategic approach on how it buys and manages software.
Why is this important? Each year, the U.S. Government spends more than $9 billion on software through more than 50,000 transactions. The U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) has previously issued a report saying that agencies buy and manage software in a decentralized matter, struggle with inventory and entitlement tracking and often purchase unneeded capabilities. Not surprisingly, this is a similar problem with all organizations – but compounded by the scope and size of the U.S. Government and its software spend.
So, what is happening?
- The Office of the Federal Chief Acquisition Officer and the Office of the Federal Chief Information Officer is seeking comment on the proposed guidance to improve the acquisition and management of enterprise software and encourages the public to participate.
- Steps are already being taken to improve how the government buys and manages software including:
- Federal Information Technology Reform Act (FITARA), a bill to eliminate duplication and waste in information technology acquisition and management.
- OMB is releasing guidance to agencies on FITARA implementation that ultimately will result in a more efficient, effective and secure government.
- Creating strategies which parallel the software lifecycle and ISO SAM processes, including:
- Appointing a software manager, who reports to the agency CIO (executive sponsor in end-user speak).
- Build and maintain a comprehensive inventory of software license spend, including knowing license count and usage (1E has issued a report stating that, on average, 37% of all software is unused (government agencies coming in slightly below at 28%)).
- Create a centralized acquisition strategy to aggregate agency funding and requirements.
Clearly, the U.S. Government has a long road ahead to successful implementation of software asset management. The guidance being offered by GAO also includes recommendations for short and long-term goals. Some of these goals are simple, i.e. provide OMB the name and contact number of the agency’s software manager in 30 days. Others require more work (and time), for example, within one year, providing an annual report of software license inventory. The GAO and its agency partners are to be commended for working together which will result in a more efficient, and secure government.
1E looks forward to working with additional US Government Federal agencies on implementing strategic software asset management processes. 1E is delighted to be already engaged with and agencies large and small via our software asset management AppClarity solution, and other services. The US is showing significant leadership in this area, and government organizations worldwide would do well to consider implementing a Strategic Enterprise Software Asset Management program to reduce effectively cost and improve the impact of each dollar spent.