Public Value with Private Growth – Achieving Nirvana

I recently had lunch with my good friend Steve O’Keeffe, the founder of MeriTalk. He encouraged me to blog about the public sector marketplace. So without further ado, this is the genesis of my blogging career. 

My Perspective

I have had a fascinating 20+ years in the global technology industry – spanning from developing countries to public and private sector startups and large corporations as well as local, state and Federal governments. My last “job” was the CIO of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) as part of the first Obama Administration where I had oversight of the entire IT portfolio of $3b+ including FAA. At DOT, our technology team worked tirelessly to transform the role of IT from a technical service provider to a valued business partner for which we were recognized with several national awards.

When I left DOT, a number of my friends and colleagues encouraged me to disseminate our “distinctive” IT philosophy and share with other government agencies, Federal technology contractors, and suppliers. After a lot of deliberation and discussions, I established the nation’s first Federal technology accelerator program called the Public Private Innovations

The goal of the accelerator is to drive public value through private growth. Public value is the delivery of high quality, results-based services that drive business and citizen satisfaction and build trust in public enterprises. Private growth is the increased generation of revenues, profits, and intrinsic value of companies for their shareholders, employees, and contractors.

Now five months into the effort, the accelerator is growing and the experience is energizing my portfolio of companies, consortium partners, and me. Daily interactions with startups, 8a companies, established technology contractors and suppliers, and government executives in major and smaller agencies are exposing new problems, solutions, ideas, business models, innovations, opportunities, challenges, products, services and experiences. There is a real possibility to communicate to the broader public and to start a “public private innovations” movement that can transform the Federal government.

My Focus

I will focus my series on public sector marketplace. I plan to stimulate chatter, perhaps even throw in controversy to the discussion. In whatever I write, my goal is simple – driving public value through private growth. So join me in my new blogging career by reading my blog here as well as by following me on Twitter @NitinPradhanCIO, and connecting with me via LinkedIn.

Getting this Conversation Started

So what are the issues? First, how do contractors and their suppliers continue to deliver public value that Federal agencies and citizens expect? At the same time, how do they keep company revenues, profits, and intrinsic growth alive?

Here’s my take. Agencies and contractors alike have a very reactionary, gradual, segmented approach to addressing business problems using technology solutions. The IT lifecycle starting with identifying the problems, formulating and approving IT budgets, planning and managing acquisitions, executing programs, launching products and services, and modernizing system operations is fundamentally inefficient and perhaps even flawed.

The current “system” encourages fragmented problem definition resulting in point solutions that deliver inadequate value and are later cumbersome to integrate, consolidate, grow, or retire. It will create new vectors for security risks and ongoing maintenance. This fragmented approach must change.

So how do we do it?

Well, how do you eat a herd of elephants? Surely one byte  :) at a time! Stay tuned. In the next installment, I will try to add my perspective to reform the public sector marketplace through results-driven, business technology.

Nitin Pradhan is the founder of Public Private Innovations, and formally the CIO of the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Like you, he takes it one byte at a time.