White House seeks mobile services savings: OMB issues guidelines for government IT

By James O'Brien

The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued new draft policy guidelines for federal agencies that are buying and managing mobile services and products. As FCW reports, the goal of this policy is to help the US government save on IT acquisition costs by cutting any unnecessary inventory and services.

At the core of the draft policy is a central system into which agencies will feed mobile service usage and pricing data. This information should lead to reductions in redundant inventory and the elimination of overlapping IT services that could be handled by a single iteration.

This database is intended to fuel an analytics effort to seek new insights and cost-saving solutions. These insights are particularly valuable in the current mobile environment, as both government agencies and corporate enterprises are seeking new techniques for managing technology costs.

According to FCW, the General Services Administration will host the database at its Acquisition Gateway site. The data submission deadline is May 31.

The current mobile services initiative, which lives under the mandate of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act of 2014, aims to address the $1 billion that the United States spends annually on mobile devices and service contracts. Once the draft policy is approved, the OMB anticipates savings of up to $230 million.

The mobile services guidelines are part of an overarching category management initiative. Since 2009, the effort has created some $2 billion in IT-related savings, as FCW reports.

The plan is also part of a multi-pronged government effort around IT savings. In early March, for example, the White House issued a memo requiring government agencies to apply directly to the Office of the Federal Chief Information Officer when constructing new data centers or expanding existing installations. As Nextgov reports, this policy is meant to reduce federal IT system spending by more than $1 billion over the course of the next two years.

The public comment period for the new mobile services guidelines runs until April 28, 2016.

Written By

James O'Brien

Technology Reporter

For the past half decade, James O'Brien has covered technology and the ways it intersects with our lives and work. His points of focus include data analytics, the mobile sector, driver-less cars, the Internet of Things, IT infrastructure, data security, 3-D printing, and technology…

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