Accenture’s survey reveals that change is happening—perhaps not quickly enough. Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents described the change in technology’s role in their personal lives over the past five years as significant or transformative. While change is underway, the impact within federal IT hasn’t been quite so dramatic. That’s especially true when it comes to changes in agency mission and business operations or IT operating model, with just 42 and 44 percent of respondents, respectively, describing those shifts as significant or transformative.

IT teams still view themselves more as enabler than change agents.

Even as technology is increasingly infused into every aspect of agency operations, most IT decision makers and influencers still see their organizations as supporting players. Seventy percent described their IT function as "Trusted Utility" or "Mission Enabler." Just 7 percent characterized their IT team’s role as that of "Change Agent," and only 20 percent identified their team’s role as "Business Process Optimizer."

Traditional strengths, emerging opportunities

In terms of working with diverse stakeholders to deliver needed services, respondents gave themselves "good" or "superior" rankings for the traditional "utility" functions of IT:


Protecting agency from insider threats/security breaches


Protecting agency from outsider threats/cyberattacks


Ensuring mission readiness through continuity of operations


Ensuring mission readiness with 24x7 availability through high fault tolerance

Survey respondents ranked themselves lower on IT’s ability to contribute toward mission agility. Less than half ranked themselves "good" or "superior" at integrating, automating and digitizing key processes and services (47 percent) and ensuring business systems and processes are built to easily address changes in mission requirements and policies (41 percent).

As "mission readiness" and "mission agility" become increasingly synonymous, these findings underscore the need to replace custom processes and legacy applications with more liquid applications and operating models.

Dave McClure

Principal Director – Federal CIO Advisory Services


Decouple to innovate
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Technology advances. Federal impacts.

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