The vast majority of Federal civilian IT managers say their agency has accelerated digital transformation efforts in response to increased telework and the urgency to adapt citizen services, but even more say their digital transformation strategies are “not adapting fast enough.”

That’s one of the main findings from the latest infographic from MeriTalk, in partnership with AWS, titled “Migration to Transformation: Delivering on Federal Missions Using Technology.” The infographic examines agencies’ digital transformation progress, drawing results from a November 2020 survey of 150 Federal civilian IT managers.

According to the survey, 79 percent of Federal civilian IT managers say they’ve “accelerated digital transformation efforts in response to the surge in telework and urgency to adapt citizen services.” Prior to the shift to telework, only 41 percent of agencies said they had a defined digital strategy, but today 87 percent of agencies have one.

“IT is core to the mission and no longer ancillary,” said one Federal chief technology officer respondent. “Now that IT is getting a seat at the table, what are you going to do? You have to be responsive.”

However, challenges still remain when it comes to the urgency of digital transformation efforts. Just 39 percent of respondents say digital transformation is a top priority in their agency.

Additionally, 83 percent say their agency’s digital transformation is not moving fast enough to keep pace with today’s rapidly changing digital environment.

The biggest digital transformation challenge Federal civilian IT managers face is security concerns (47 percent), followed by time constraints and the length of the migration process (34 percent). The workforce skills gap, competing priorities, and inflexible legacy networks all tied for third place – each coming in at 33 percent.

Agencies now realize investing in cloud is crucial and this has provided the “most impactful change” to their digital transformation journeys. Eighty-five percent are adopting a more holistic view of cloud to aid their digital transformation efforts and 88 percent said prior cloud investments were critical in delivering their missions throughout the pandemic.

Going forward, agencies believe digital transformation will be “essential” to offering a “seamless” citizen experience. One Federal chief technology officer respondent encouraged agencies to “adopt an agile approach to thinking” to advance digital transformation in the future.

For more research findings and advice on how agencies can advance their digital transformation efforts, download the full infographic.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.