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VanRoekel: ‘Billions of dollars waiting for us’

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That money, VanRoekel said, can be used to reinvest in new technologies.

“There is a massive amount of capital infusion out there for us to play with if we can capture it,” VanRoekel said June 12 in giving the closing keynote address to FedTalks 2013 at the Mead Center for American Theater in Washington, D.C.

VanRoekel pointed to the Agriculture Department as a leader in this movement. The department consolidated from 21 email systems to one and cut its mobile contracts from more than 1,000 to just a few blanket purchase agreements.

While simple, those types of changes can save the federal governments billions over the long-term that – along with his cut-and-invest strategy – can put more money in the hands of innovators.

“Tough economic times call for innovation,” VanRoekel said, noting more than half of the nation’s Fortune 100 companies – including IBM, Microsoft and Proctor and Gamble – were founded during an economic downturn. He said the federal government is in a similar situation now with funding issues creating opportunities to innovative.

VanRoekel pointed to things such as the federal strategic sourcing initiative, efforts to create a more mobile workforce, grant reform and PortfolioStat as examples of what the White House is trying to do to spur along this innovation.

“There are great opportunities,” VanRoekel said, “especially for the vendor community. No longer do we want to spend money on maintaining outdated and bloated systems, but want to put our resources toward innovation. For the vendors that are on the cutting edge of technology, this should be great news.”

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