Why does Government Tech Move Too Slowly?

An essential flaw in government buying of technology is that tech changes fast, and Budget cycles take forever.

The way the government agencies buy technology is helpful information to understand the Pentagon’s sudden cancellation of a technology project billed as a necessary element to modernize the U.S. military. When government tech performs faulty, one offender is often a budgetary bureaucracy with technological progress.

The Defense Department project, the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, was assigned to buy commercially open cloud-computing software to put the U.S. military on tech’s new wave.

Federal, state, and local governments pay for roadways or other projects once after long deliberation and try not to overthink about it for the next few years. But this professes an essential flaw in government buying when it comes to technology. Government mindsets and budget cycles do not match the speed of technology and its need for constant improvements.

To suit, a company offering the new software has to put together a plan for the state’s department of labor. Then legislators need to approve the money. That process may take two or more years.

That means that the proposed technology is already several years old when a company decides to build a website to handle unemployment claims. It takes even more time to get the website running to a state’s specifications, which is not a great outcome. You wouldn’t be excited if you purchased a new smartphone and it came with 2015 features and functions.

The unfortunate thing about government technology is that it wasn’t always unfortunate. The United States government, especially intelligence agencies and the military, used to own the best technology in the world. The military helped point to changes, including powerful databases, computer chips, and the internet.

Governments still spend a lot on technology, but the best customers for new products are usually people more than the public sector. One reason is that people don’t take years to make up their minds about new tech

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