Federal CIO Highlights Long-Awaited TIC Policy Update

Federal CIO Highlights Long-Awaited TIC Policy Update

The first update to the policy in 12 years will enable further IT transformation.

Think back to 2007. Apple released the original iPhone, the words “hashtag” and “netbook” first entered the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and a young senator from Illinois named Barack Obama began his run for president. It was also the last time the federal government updated its trusted internet connections (TIC) policy.

Today the Office of Management and Budget will release TIC 3.0, Federal CIO Suzette Kent said while speaking at the Dell Technologies Forum Thursday. It will be the first update to TIC in 12 years.

TIC 3.0 “still requires agencies to meet all of the strict security requirements that have always been a priority and are even more of a priority now,” Kent said, “but includes new pathways to take advantage of modern technologies and capabilities of software that wasn’t even imagined when the original policy was written.”

Moreover, TIC 3.0 is the last in a series of updates to policies that were over five years old — some over a decade old — when the federal CIO’s team began to revise and update them. Other policies her team have modernized include the CloudSmart policy and guidelines on identifying and protecting high-value assets.

“We are using [new] policy to break down barriers and enable the federal government and the agencies to use market-leading capabilities,” Kent said. “We can take advantage of those for the specific reason of achieving mission and better serving citizens.”

The new policies include “a method to keep that policy current, ways that we engage with industry, ways we listen or other engagement mechanisms to ensure that something doesn’t sit around for a decade again,” she added.

Policies and updates like TIC 3.0 are “the glue to how we drive real transformation because transformation is the whole of the enterprise,” Kent said. Now that these legacy policies have been updated, Kent is looking forward to shifting toward three major elements of IT transformation: IT modernization; data, accountability and transparency; and workforce.

“Today marks the completion, the turning of the page, on one set of objectives,” Kent said. “What I really want to share today is how we’re shifting focus and energy on the next phase of driving transformation that is supported by policy, but is powered by innovators and industry collaborators.”

The next step is “true transformation ... not small experiments” or one-off projects to automate or digitize a single function, Kent said. A few examples include moving federal email systems to the cloud, developing broad-use collaboration tools and developing scaling platforms for shared services that IT offices across the government can use in their agencies, Kent said. As the second Federal Reskilling Academy cohort graduates next week, the federal CIO office will also look to scale its training and education efforts.

“Real transformation is much more than just good policy and leading-edge technology,” Kent said. “We have to be intentional in understanding what our citizens are expecting and how they expect to receive those services. We have to fundamentally change how we deliver against those expectations … We need to use every lever we can to drive transformation.”

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