Information Technology_ Best Practices Can Improve Performance and Produce Results

U.S. Government Accountability Office
This testimony discusses how best practices applied by leading organizations can help improve information management technology in the federal government. GAO focuses on four key lessons learned from its ongoing evaluation of strategic information management issues in federal agencies. First, better data are needed on the government's information technology investments. Although federal information technology obligations now total at least $25 billion annually, what the government is getting in return for these expenditures is unclear. Second, information technology is characterized by high risk and high return. Real opportunities exist to boost organizational performance, but the risk of failure is ever present and must be vigorously managed to ensure success. Third, repeatable success requires sound management processes that are applied with relentless discipline. Sustainable and effective management practices are crucial to successful information technology projects. Fourth, the challenge is implementation. Most leading organizations have taken three to five years to fully integrate the practices into improved management processes. A consensus has emerged among federal government officials on what the problems are and what can be done to solve them. Now agency heads must implement more-effective information technology management processes and reinforce accountability to produce tangible results.
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