Mark and I wrote an op-ed, Attention on 18F: The Bridge to Modern Government is Built from Both Sides for GovTech, with big assists from Trussels Nic Wissman and Breanne Boland.
As some of you know, 18F and USDS are charged with helping transition government from legacy to modernized technology, processes, and systems. It's a big problem: Seventy-one percent of our $51 billion non-defense IT projects in the next 12 months will be spent on maintaining outdated legacy systems. And from our experience with healthcare.gov, we know there's tremendous benefit to taxpayers and the agencies themselves.
There's a lot of momentum, which means there's also resistance. There was a congressional hearing about the role of 18F, prompted by organizations representing incumbent vendors who tend to benefit from maintaining those legacy systems, some of which are over 40 years old.
Here's our position: the way forward is to build a bridge from legacy to modern systems. That experience exists in the private sector. However, this transition has to come by working with -- not in spite of -- the mission-driven objectives of the agencies. We offer training for agile development, write software to automate processes within complex compliance regimes, and work elbow-to-elbow with teams to solve problems.
The urgency to make this transition is clear, and we're excited to be part of the solution, along with 18F, USDS and a growing number of modern companies dedicated to bringing great service to the US taxpayer:
Routinely measuring and examining the impact of government agencies is critical to ensuring taxpayer dollars are used in a way that’s worthy of the people who work every single day to earn them. But what we should also recognize is that we live in a “post-waterfall” era, and working toward a solution requires changing processes and definitions of success to match our current era — not 2006, not 1996 and certainly not 1966.