Congressman Hurd Encourages Investment in Government IT and Online Citizen Experiences

by Cris Paden

posted on 05-04-2017

The 8th annual Adobe Digital Government Symposium on May 2nd focused on ways government can transform digital services by shifting focus away from maintaining legacy IT systems and investing in new technologies to improve citizen experiences. Modernizing the federal IT infrastructure is critical for ensuring the security of government data and delivering more engaging services that cost less to citizens. Congressman Will Hurd of Texas spoke to the many benefits of modernizing government technology during his closing keynote at the event on Tuesday.

During his remarks in front of about 1,000 leaders from across U.S. federal, state, and local government, Congressman Hurd talked about a new, exciting idea to ensure that federal agencies delineate a chief experience officer (CXO) who would be responsible for improving the digital experiences of all citizens who interact with government.

Congressman Hurd discussed the importance of hiring the nation’s most talented IT and cybersecurity leaders and ensuring agency leaders have the authority and resources they need to protect and update critical systems. “The government needs to hire the next generation of talent to improve the its IT infrastructure,” he said, advocating for the creation of a “Cyber National Guard” that would recruit young leaders to work for all federal agencies, not just the CIA, DOD and FBI. Instead, Congressman Hurd argued that every agency needs cyber talent to overhaul the government’s aging IT infrastructure.

The congressman also argued that federal agencies need to think more about experience and efficiency, pointing to things like website performance and aesthetics as ways to improve digital experiences for citizens. A key benefit of more efficient and engaging online services is that it shifts more in-person government interactions from physical interactions (via in person or phone) to online interactions which will save agencies time and money. In fact, a study by Deloitte found that the average in-person transaction costs the government $16.90 while a digital transaction only costs 40 cents.

Earlier in the day on May 2nd, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee reported Congressman Hurd’s Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act out of committee, sending it to the House floor for a vote. The bill uses savings from streamlining or replacing legacy IT systems to create a working capital fund that helps agencies move to the cloud and provide more engaging and accessible government services. This is critical because the federal government on average spends nearly 80 percent of its IT budget on servicing and maintaining legacy IT systems, making it difficult to invest in new technologies that deliver better services to citizens.

Adobe applauds Congressman Hurd for his continued efforts to improve government technology and the digital experiences of American citizens, and we thank him for sharing his thoughts with us at our Digital Government Symposium.

View Congressman Hurd’s speech here at 1:08:30.

Topics: Data & Privacy