August 26, 2020
Alliance for Digital Innovation Releases White Paper to Address and Overhaul Legacy Procurement Approaches
Leading technology advocacy organization makes recommendations to help agencies embrace commercial innovation and accelerate a modern, digital government
WASHINGTON – Today, the Alliance for Digital Innovation released a new white paper which outlines key opportunities to think differently about the technology acquisition process and provides several critical recommendations that can empower agencies to more quickly and effectively embrace innovative commercial technologies.
“The hard truth is that government cannot embrace the benefits of new technology if they keep using the same traditional acquisition methods that perpetuate legacy business models and legacy systems,” the paper states. “This white paper intends to dispel several misunderstandings about buying technology today, highlight several examples of where government is progressive, and emphasize the need for reform that creates a different government for the future.”
The white paper recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting seismic change in Federal agency operations, and the incredible desire from citizens to easily and effectively receive government services have accelerated the need for the government to more quickly and powerfully embrace commercial technologies. However, the document offers alternatives to some long-engrained in the technology acquisition process and focuses on providing key considerations and suggestions that can help agency leaders, program managers, IT executives, and contracting officers all work together to embrace and scale new capabilities now and into the future. “The federal government has embraced innovation and modernization as key to their missions. Having access to the full range of providers through the procurement process enables the best solutions and expertise to be engaged and creates a continual infusion of talent and new thinking,” says Luanne Pavco, General Manager of Slalom Federal and ADI Board Member.
To address this legacy mindset and dispel critical misconceptions, ADI recommends several key actions that can accelerate digital transformation and speed the adoption of commercial technologies in government to meet mission needs:
- Prioritizing “as a service” models (platform, infrastructure, and software) first;
- Reducing burden and duplication by following promising efforts already happening in the government;
- Improving the way the government conducts market research to keep pace with the speed of change in the technology sector;
- Increasing the flexibility of funds dedicated to technology acquisitions so agencies can buy only the products and services they need when they need them;
- Accelerating challenge opportunities and other performance or capabilities-based evaluations in the procurement process; and
- Expanding rapid acquisition authorities and encouraging agencies to pilot and scale innovative commercial capabilities.