What HHS modernization could mean for tech companies

With a critical mass of legacy IT and a plan to modernize, HHS represents a wealth of opportunities for government contractors.

Around 40 percent of the systems of record at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are “legacy IT,” meaning they are no longer supported by their manufacturers and are increasingly expensive to maintain. But that may soon change, according to Chris Wlaschin, chief information security officer for HHS.

Speaking at the recent Washington Technology HHS Industry Day, Wlaschin described an emphasis on modernization at the leadership level that mirrors the focus the White House has placed on overhauling dated federal technology.

The legacy systems still in operation at the agency’s Office of Chief Information Officer (OCIO) have been bucketed into three distinct categories: those ready for migration to a more modern solution, either on-premises or in the cloud; those that cannot be migrated but need to be kept active for the agency to deliver on its mission; and those beyond their useful life and can be shut down (a process that is accelerating).

The OCIO has also outlined a goal to bring 30 percent of its operational systems into the cloud over the next few years, which would represent a substantial increase in current cloud utilization at HHS. All told, it sounds like the pace of change is increasing at the agency with the largest non-defense IT budget in government – and that spells opportunity for the tech industry, especially for the companies that develop tech solutions and their partners. 

Of course, the push for cloud migration and legacy system modernization isn’t just aimed at improving agency performance. There’s a significant legislative driver in the form of the Federal Information Technology Reform Act (FITARA).

George Chambers, HHS executive director of IT infrastructure and acting executive director of the Office of Enterprise Application Development, made sure to outline the agency’s goal of achieving an “A by May,” or an A-grade on that month’s FITARA implementation scorecard in Congress.

While FITARA is generally thought of as a management reform bill, an agency the size of HHS attempting to increase its implementation scores in such a short timeframe has a real impact on the private sector as well and could alter the optimal route to market.

In addition to targeting Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) metrics as a primary means of raising FITARA implementation scores, HHS is looking to increase its use of enterprise agreements at the Office of the Secretary level, as well as actively participate in the kind of software license tracking and rationalization required by the MEGABYTE Act.

All of this means that there’s an opportunity for IT vendors with an existing footprint at the agency to have a real discussion around enterprise standardization. Of course, it could also mean a smaller universe of competitors for upcoming HHS solicitations – so vendors will need to make sure they have teaming arrangements and partnership programs aligned to the customer.

All that said, the sense coming from HHS leadership is still that they truly prioritize competition and want to be open to as many competitive solutions as possible for each of their procurements. The best way for technology companies to compete is to team up with a prime contractor on one of the NITAAC GWACs – CIO-CP3 for services, CIO-CS for products – since spending through those vehicles will almost certainly increase as acquisition reform continues to be an administration priority.

HHS is large and complex, but acutely aware of its need for industry partners to meet the ambitious modernization targets coming down from the top levels of the organization. Tech companies that align themselves with that mission will have ample opportunity for success.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.