Understanding the Technology Modernization Fund

The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) was created by the Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2017 to more quickly fund needed modernization projects across government. With TMF, agencies can apply for funding to complete modernization activities without having to wait for the budget cycle to begin work on critical digital initiatives. Funding is incremental to ensure projects are working as expected.

Agencies must repay the investment either using the cost savings achieved with the tech implementation or through future budget allocations. The model is working. Of the 11 initial projects to receive TMF funding, two agencies have already reimbursed the fund, and five others have completed their projects and are in the process of reimbursement.

The TMF is overseen by the Technology Modernization Board, made up of Government IT leaders across the disciplines of technology, transformation, and operations. Proposals are submitted to the board for review and funding is decided based on impact on agency mission, feasibility, value proposition for operational efficiency, and reduction of outdated systems. Board members and other subject matter experts remain involved in the agencies' projects post-award, answering agencies' questions throughout the entire project life cycle.

The fund is currently distributing a $1 billion investment from the American Rescue Plan Act to programs closely aligned to executive branch modernization goals.

Improving Customer Service

Customer service is a key pillar of the President's Management Agenda with additional guidelines for improvement included in the Customer Experience EO. To meet these expectations of improvement, $100 million of the fund was recently earmarked for projects making an impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of customer service across government. Projects include improvements on user-facing and business-facing digital products, like digital forms or online tools; improvements to customer support call centers including cloud migrations; technologies that support in-person field office visits; and the implementation of self-service digital tools such as chatbots. To receive part of this $100 million, proposals have to show an expected return on investment, including direct cost savings.

Move to Zero Trust

Zero Trust Architecture is a key element of the push to improve the nation's cyber security. Making such a dramatic switch from traditional "castle and moat" security architectures to the dynamic approach of zero trust requires a sizable investment to implement new technologies and processes. This is the kind of project the TMF was designed to accelerate.

Recent investments include:

  • USDA's efforts to centralize support for all program offices and services and reduce the number of legacy networks from 17 to 1
  • FTC's plan to implement a Security Operations Center-as-a-Service (SOCaaS) in order to move to a zero trust architecture
  • Department of Homeland Security's plan to move the Homeland Security Information Network service to the cloud to become an updated and more secure platform for information sharing among first responders, law enforcement, private sector, and government partners.

Agencies working on TMF-funded Zero Trust projects meet regularly as a cohort to share successes and challenges. Their experience is being shared as best practices through information repositories.

GovEvents and GovWhitePapers have a host of modernization resources to help agencies guide their plans and better understand how to fund them.

  • GovX Summit (September 15, 2022; virtual) - This event features the latest trends, best practices, and ideas around the evolving experience of government. It includes a diverse set of leaders from industry and government to provide a unique opportunity to learn from those directly at the forefront of the government experience movement.
  • Imagine Nation ELC 2022 (October 23-25, 2022; Hershey, PA) - This conference brings together the government technology community to discuss the issues facing government and work together to develop practical solutions and innovative strategies.
  • ITModTalks (November 8, 2022; Arlington, VA) - Top decision-makers from government and tech discuss ongoing efforts in Federal IT modernization, the continued move to modern, cloud-based systems, and what is in store with emerging technologies like artificial intelligence.
  • CX Summit 2022 (November 15, 2022; Washington, DC) - This summit will focus on how the government will leverage the principles, strategies and tactics of customer experience to meet all of the priorities of the PMA and improve digital services to employees and customers.
  • The IT Modernization Mission (e-book) - This e-book highlights how agencies are tapping new funds to ditch legacy systems and address gaps in cybersecurity and service delivery.
  • Federal IT Modernization Needs a Strategy and More Money (white paper) - This paper outlines government agencies' need to access dedicated IT funding channels with more money and an overarching IT strategy to help guide them in how they fund IT initiatives.

Visit GovEvents and GovWhitePapers for more insight on modernization best practices, funding opportunities, and Federal IT priorities.

Comments are closed temporarily due to excessive Spam.