Tuesday, February 10, 2015

IT (including HIT) will increase in 2015,2015

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By Drew Doggett
Top Line: IT Spending What You Heard: Federal IT spending will tick up to $86.4 billion this year, a 3 percent increase from 2014. 
What it Means: The increase pales in comparison to the 7 percent average from 2001-2009. The Obama administration says it’s due to greater technological efficiencies, National Journal reports.
Average IT spending growth has been down 1.5 percent since 2010, and Obama’s request is coming in high in hopes of ensuring he gets at least as much in 2016. Look for Congress to appropriate less than the president’s request, but more than the ceiling allowed by the four-year-old budget law.
Instead of just spending more, the administration’s goal is to cut out unnecessary technology spending. That’s what’s driving programs like PortfolioStat, which former Acting Federal CIO Lisa Schlosser says has saved agencies $2.7 billion to date. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has been pressing agencies to use less expensive technologies to gain the same level of service, writes David Stegon atFedTech. What’s saved can then be plowed back into mission-critical needs. And not all agencies are treated equally. See the chart below.

Expand U.S. Digital Service

What it Means: Obama now believes the USDS, conceived a year ago, can graduate from its startup phase and roll out across government. The aim is to bring proven private sector expertise to federal IT challenges. The USDS is run by Google veteran Mikey Dickerson, who revamped the Healthcare.gov site, and is now training his eyes on the VA IT systems and others. This will not impact EHR, or HIX. Funding for those was through the HITECH ACT, which incentivized capital investment in the private sector for it's implementation.

Cyber Sharing
What You Heard: The budget calls for $227 million to build a Civilian Cyber Campus to “better share information on cyber threats and incidents with those being targeted, improve the ability to share evidence of cyber-crimes with other nations, and maintain efforts to increase the Nation's cyber workforce.”
What it Means: After recent high-profile hacks, the proposal aims to protect the privacy and security of Americans by requiring companies to comply with strict guidelines for sharing customer information, such as removing unnecessary and liable personal information used purely for advertisers. The administration also wants to increase data transparency between the private and public sectors, if a breach were to occur.
Previously, a company could suffer a breach and not report it to the government. Soon it could be law. The proposals also enhance collaboration between agencies so relevant data can be shared at a faster pace.
Cyber Defense
What You Heard: The request illustrates a focus on open government data as a catalyst for the private sector. It provides $16 million for E-government initiatives in GSA’s Federal Citizen Services Fund, supporting important IT investments such as open data and digital government initiatives.
What it Means: A federal data-breach notification would raise awareness about the issue at companies by making it a bigger part of company policy,” said Tony Cole, VP and global government CTO with security firm FireEye. However, only 31 percent of companies surveyed by a PricewaterhouseCoopers study had a mobile security strategy and many feel that such proposals are just lip service. Cybersecurity appreciation is needed at both the executive and employee level of all corporations.
Compared to the period 2006-2009 overall HIT spending is down, and it will rise again in 2015 to level off in 2016. This reflect technology implementation at a rapid rate earlier.

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