The IRS in a new report on that it has put some COVID-19 relief funding to work to help speed modernization of its technology infrastructure as it hits the halfway mark in a six-year modernization project.

The agency’s latest Annual Key Insights Report 2021 covering IT issues lays out some of the successes that IRS has had, while outlining some of the modernization challenges that the agency still faces going into 2023.

Nancy Sieger, Chief Information Officer at IRS, explained how funds from the American Rescue Plan Act approved by Congress in 2021 have allowed for further expansion on efforts to address IT modernization challenges.

“As change agents, we are moving the IRS into the future by incorporating modernized technology into the work we do throughout the year,” Sieger said. “The additional funding provided by the American Rescue Plan enables the IRS to potentially double the number of modernization programs we can deliver beginning in FY 2022, and to accelerate major efforts such as the complete modernization of the Individual Master File,” the CIO said.

Challenges that the agency is still looking to focus on include:

  • Hybrid and Multi Cloud: Ecosystem of native cloud-based services, with emphasis on PaaS and SaaS that enable acceleration of cloud migration and modernization. A hybrid and multi-cloud environment that allows the IRS to operate a portfolio of applications for delivering a secure and scalable IT infrastructure;
  • Platforms & Applications: Services built on standard cloud-native, low-code, and COTS platforms in a manner that maximizes automation, promotes reuse, and simplifies the portfolio;
  • Data & Analytics: Data Management and Data Distribution platforms that provide IRS with rapid, secure access to data;
  • AI & Machine Learning: Technology that provides the ability to achieve better business outcomes, solve new challenges, reduce speed for issue resolution, and improve operational efficiencies while meeting strong ethical standards;
  • IT Management: Modernized practices for service management leveraging SaaS platforms to automate, provision, and deliver services;
  • Network: Secure, resilient and highly-performing network (serving voice, data, and video); and
  • Security: Comprehensive security practices to secure a complex, distributed, network- connected ecosystem that protects taxpayer data and tax administration services against sophisticated, persistent, and often novel threats.
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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.