Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Robert Gates, Principal at RiceHadleyGates and former Secretary of Defense, delivers the keynote address at the Federal Innovation Summit 2014.
Robert Gates, Principal at RiceHadleyGates and former Secretary of Defense, delivers the keynote address at the Federal Innovation Summit 2014. (Rob Curtis/Staff / Staff)

Agency leaders need to break down cultural barriers and engage employees in order to succeed in modernizing IT systems, according to former Defense secretary Robert Gates.

The technical solutions for reforming IT systems have been around for a while. It is the culture within agencies that prevents success, he said, speaking at the Federal Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C. July 22.

Download our free white paper, “ Virtualization Salvation .”

“Agency leadership needs to be prepared to challenge conventional thinking. Stop doing what doesn’t work well,” Gates said. He said agency leaders need to know when a project isn’t working and should avoid trying to create programs from scratch. Instead, agencies should partner with the private sector to refine existing programs and technologies.

MORE FROM THE INNOVATION SUMMIT

Cost savings from IT reform are ... nil?

3 keys to successful desktop virtualization

DISA applies Big Data analytics to better secure DoD networks

Take a measured approach to private clouds, contractors say

Agencies must also work together on possible IT solutions and learn to share resources and IT systems instead of fighting to maintain control of individual agency programs and projects. He said too often agencies cling to networks or projects simply because the agency “owns” it, he said.

“Collaborate more instead of engaging in turf fights and stove pipes, Gates said.

While culture may be the greatest barrier, it is not the only one. The the federal acquisition process also works against modernization. It needs to be streamlined to encourage the adoption of new technology instead of slowing down agency efforts to modernize, he said. By the time agencies determine what they need and go through the contracting process to acquire it, the system or program could be outdated, Gates added.

“A sclerotic federal contracting system is not a good match for the fast-evolving information world,” Gates said.

More In C4ISR & Networks

More from this channel

  1. Eyes on the Threat: A US Air Force tactical air control party member (left) observes the compass and the area while an Air Force combat controller talks on the radio during Emerald Warrior 2014 on Hurlburt Field, Florida, May 1. A new US Special Operations Command program would use online information to give operators on the ground a better view of nearby threats. Senior Airman Colville McFee/ / 3rd Combat Camera

    SOCOM wants to data-mine the open web

    AVATAR program would be run by SOCOM staffers at the 'tactical, strategic and operational levels' of action.

    • Oct 30, 2014
  2. US soldiers perform pre-launch checks on a Patriot missile launcher as part of a field training exercise. A Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments report suggests that the Army use land-based forces to deny access to the air and sea, defend coastlines and constrain enemy movements. Airman 1st Class Maeson L. Elleman/ / Air Force

    Report: Army should embrace anti-access/area-denial mission

    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recommended the Army return to an old mission on the home front.

    • Oct 30, 2014
  3. DISA's new cloud role coming into focus

    As DISA backs off from being DoD's cloud broker, its emphasis shifts to security.

    • Oct 30, 2014
  4. Mark Hagerott is Deputy Director, U.S. Naval Academy Center for Cyber Security Studies. Courtesy

    Limiting automation in a cyber-insecure world

    With each new headline announcing another cyber breach, to include national governments, retail stores, cloud companies (Apple's iCloud), and leading banks, I am compelled to reflect on an obscure set of war games conducted in 2012-2013 that may prove pre

    • Oct 30, 2014
  5. Airbus developing ship-based UAV

    French shipbuilder DCNS is collaborating on the project.

    • Oct 30, 2014
  6. The global market for airborne ISR systems is expected to grow in future years. Boeing

    Airborne ISR market to reach $28 billion

    The U.S., China, Russia and India are the largest buyers.

    • Oct 30, 2014

Daily intelligence on C4ISR and networks

There's no better way to know what's going on every day in areas like UAS and sensors, GEOINT, C2 and communications, cyber, mobility and defense IT, than to sign up for our daily C4ISRNET newsletters. The news will come right to your inbox, along with commentary and insight from our lineup of senior-level bloggers.

Sign up is easy and quick.