A who’s who of the technology world descended on Washington Monday to discuss modernizing IT in the federal government. The gathering of technology leaders, advisors, and administration officials will be the White House’s first official meeting convened by the American Technology Council. Created in May, the council seeks to bring the government’s IT infrastructure, websites, and apps to the same level of quality associated with those of the country’s leading tech companies.
While the summit will undoubtedly touch on a sprawling number of issues plaguing the aging systems utilized by the government, the attendees are tasked with focusing on three main objectives: improve government technology services; decrease government spending in IT and other technology sectors; and increase cybersecurity for federal systems. To that extent, those involved will brainstorm how artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, and other technologies can be implemented to achieve those goals and, ultimately, better serve the American public.
According to the White House, participants from the tech industry include Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella, Amazon.com Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos, Oracle Co-CEO Safra Catz, and Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet.
Among those representing the government will be White House advisor Jared Kushner; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly; and Chris Liddell, the White House director of strategic initiatives.
Despite the non-partisan appeal of upgrading outdated systems, the meeting comes at a tense time between the two parties who have disagreed on several issues, such as the environment and immigration—a topic expected to be discussed during the summit.
This is not the first time the Office of the President has sought outside assistance modernizing government IT—a priority for both the current and former administration. Following the troubled rollout of the healthcare.gov website, the Obama administration brought together tech executives to discuss the government’s strides to make the website fully functional. As a result, the U.S. Digital Service was created to attract tech experts to federal jobs and modernize the government.
About the Author
Alex Tzavellas serves as Practice Marketing Manager where he supports MIL’s cloud solutions marketing and sales efforts. He specializes in developing and executing strategies for federal and non-profit clients.