Operations and Maintenance is the Fossil Fuel of big Government IT Budgets

March 15, 2021 | 2 minute read
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With a focus on innovation, clean energy and a more sustainable planet, manufacturers, even “legacy” ones such as General Motors, are embracing innovative futures. GM has plans to sell only electric zero-emissions automobiles by 2035. In concert, California has mandated electric cars for 2035. It’s a virtuous cycle. To be sure, the road to clean is bumpy. Clean energy automobiles can still rely on production methods that leverage fossil fuels. However, the intentionality of the effort and the signal to the market is what’s important. Clean is the future, and leaders are leaning in.

The U.S. federal government’s annual IT budget is a whopping $90 billion, rounded. It’s an extraordinary amount of public investment in support of an extraordinary portfolio of missions. But is it an investment? Devoting billions to clean energy with the expected return of both more efficient and more effective outcomes is most certainly an investment – an investment in our future. The challenge with the federal IT spend is that by most estimates 80% of the spend is focused on running and maintaining existing legacy environments. It’s not the “technology lock-in” that everyone loves to hate – it’s people lock-in…$70 billion worth of it. Annually. It’s not an investment. It’s fossil fuel.

O&M is the fossil fuel of big government technology spend. It literally stifles innovation, constrains agility, and forces reactive behavior and outcomes. If GM and California can ignite innovation and execute with intentionality, big government can as well. Cloud Smart is the clean energy of tomorrow and the way to unlock O&M, but execution is just starting. Also, cloud smart specifically calls for a multi-cloud delivery model that unlocks innovation. Pursuing a single (or just two) cloud strategy will again stifle innovation, no different than O&M lock in. 

Challenge the industry innovators to innovate alongside, in partnership, and in concert with government’s mission.

Patrick Mungovan

Pat Mungovan is the senior vice president for North America Public Sector sales.  

Previously, he led Oracle’s North America cloud strategy and business development group. In this capacity, his team identified, developed, and executed a modern portfolio of integrated programs spanning Oracle’s entire tech cloud business. Prior to that role, he had served as the group vice president for Oracle Public Sector U.S. Higher Education, Research and Academic Medical Center Technology sales. Pat holds an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a B.A. in economics from the College of the Holy Cross (Mass.), and was a Harvard University Knox Fellow at Oxford and Cambridge universities, U.K. He lives in Boston, Mass.


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