We’re sitting at a critical inflection point in Federal IT.  Cloud wars are raging, AI’s bubbling, and IoT’s, well, almost literally, everywhere.  And, as in any conflict, the first casualty is all too often the truth.  That’s why the General Services Administration’s digital transformation ninja team – the artist currently known as Technology Transformation Services or TTS – owns a critical mission, helping Federal agencies navigate the hype to get to enhanced value for the American taxpayer.

TTS’ portfolio includes 18F, 18F acquisition, FedRAMP, and the IT Modernization Centers of Excellence.  It’s been making great progress working with the Department of Agriculture on Centers of Excellence.  TTS has also struck a new harmonious balance in public-private partnership.  At one time, TTS and 18F caught flak for competing with industry.  Today, the organization’s playing better with industry and actually spurring new industry entrants into the government space.

But, the future of TTS was thrown up in the air by Joanne Collins-Smee’s August 2 announcement that she’ll leave the agency.  The question, who takes the helm next – and how can TTS maintain its positive momentum while the new leader gets to know government, the organization, and of course the employees and customer requirements? Let’s face it, our world is not easy to get – we have our own language and centers of gravity.  Government and industry are both hoping for continuity through the transition.

Dominic Sale, the assistant commissioner of operations at TTS, presents a strong caretaker option to execute against Collins-Smee’s vision.  Sale’s an experienced government IT expert–but he retains the critical curiosity to question the status quo.  With more than a decade in the Federal government, he served at the Transportation Department and Office of Management and Budget before joining GSA. Sale’s experience at OMB furnishes critical insight on the challenges agencies face as they juggle compliance, budgets, and mission outcomes.

The recent FITARA scorecard and pressure to turn rhetoric around MGT into real results reinforces the need for practical, hands-on leadership at GSA TTS.  Joanne Collins-Smee and her team have made great progress, here’s hoping that Emily Murphy and the leaders at GSA keep those good vibrations happening…

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Steve O'Keeffe
Steve O'Keeffe
The most connected executive in the government technology community – O'Keeffe is an accomplished entrepreneur and tech-policy expert, with 30 years’ experience as an innovator at the crossroads of government and industry. He founded MeriTalk, O'Keeffe & Company, 300Brand, among other entities. O'Keeffe is a fixture on the Hill, in both the House and Senate, testifying on IT, budget, government workforce, and the requirement to modernize government IT to enhance outcomes for the American people and government employees. He is a champion for change, simplification, transparency, and clear communication of IT value without jargon. A committed philanthropist, O'Keeffe has served for 15 years on the USO-Metro Board of Directors – Vice Chairman of the Board and Chair of the Annual Awards Dinner. He started his career as a journalist – O'Keeffe has contributed to The Economist, Government Executive, Signal Magazine, The Washington Post, and, of course, MeriTalk.