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April 22, 2015

IT Solutions Challenge 2015 First Impressions - Jeremy Greenland

By Jeremy Greenland


The Eisenhower Executive Office Building isn’t something you see every day. The architecture is beautiful and the décor is stunning. In short, it’s the kind of building that draws the eye. Yet today, instead of focusing on the room I was in, or the building, I found my eye drawn to the people filling the room around me. Diversity is an interesting concept and the word itself was at the forefront of my mind. Everyone at my table came from various agencies with different backgrounds in IT. Despite the diversity, the day was filled with positivity and cooperation.

The IT Solutions Challenge is centered on answers. I sat at a table with six other professionals for the majority of the day and brainstormed answers to problems the Government faces regarding IT. To say I was impressed with the mentality of the group as a whole would be an understatement. What I saw was a testament to the Government; despite a wide range of agencies and backgrounds, the synergy in the room was palpable. What I found most interesting wasn’t the variety of solutions that were proposed but rather how many solutions shared commonalities.

Standardization was definitely the thought of the day, it seemed wherever people came from or whatever kind of IT work they were doing, the one problem that kept coming up again and again was inconsistencies in key processes or infrastructure between agencies, or even between departments within agencies. This lack of commonality was recognized as the source of a lot of inefficiency and frustration throughout everyone’s work environments.

With almost everyone having the same concerns regarding the IT world in government, it’s clear a solution needs to be found. With multiple teams working on similar but separate ideas I believe the chances of actually successfully implementing a solution increase greatly. Obviously, a part of me hopes that my team is the one to succeed, but in reality as long as the problem is addressed and progress is made from the IT Solutions Challenge, the workshop itself will be a success.

The coming months will be an interesting journey as plans and ideas take shape. It is my hope the positivity and comradery I witnessed the first day stay evident and out of this experience, besides just a solution, we leave with a more closely knit network of friends and contacts across the government.

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