The signing of the Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGT) was in December 2017. Federal security operations for several years have been using hardware and software that are needing to be more modern. Obsolete technology has posed challenges in protecting the nation cyberspace and vital national data from cyber-attacks.
Making Room for New Technology
What is the Modernizing Government Technology Act
The government spends about 75% allocation to information technology. This spending is maintaining and ensuring that these outdated information technology systems remain operational. The risks these systems pose are a result of their inability to utilize current security practices. It includes multifactor authentication and data encryption. They are also expensive and always fail to fulfill the mission requirement and vulnerable to malicious software.
Against the backdrop, in a bid to address these issues, the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act was passed by the legislatures. Through this
means, the government can empower federal agencies to effectively discharge their duties with regards to cybersecurity and information technology services.
The primary purposes of the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act are to:
Curtail current and operational risk of the information technology systems of federal agencies by ensuring that they are compliant with recent security technology.
Assist the federal government in cutting cost with regards to information technology via modernization
Hasten the acquisition and application of modernized information technology practices such as cloud computing, data encryption and lots more through the provision of stable funding and transparent acquisition procedures.
Benefits of the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act
Federal IT experts in some quarters are of the opinion that the MGT Act is long overdue. Nevertheless, the law has lots of benefits with regards to operational ease, data security, and investment opportunities. The following are the significant benefits:
Access to capital funds that will boost the modernization of IT systems:
MGT Act gives room for heads of different agencies to access working capital funds. These funds can be used to update or replace existing IT systems with modern state-of-the-art information technology systems. Also to adopt and train their staff on new risk–inclined cybersecurity measures.
The funds can be utilized by agencies to ensure a smooth transition from legacy IT systems to cloud. Or, a shared service to boost security and effectiveness in the discharge of their duties serving the American people.
This gesture will empower these agencies to reprogram or transfer funds. This includes those earmarked for the maintenance of obsolete IT systems for other variety of projects or investments which are within its mandate as a federal agency.
However, monitoring the utilization of these funds are required to submit comprehensive reports regarding the expenditures and balances every six months. These reports are made public for the sake of accountability.
Migration to cloud systems:
The MGT Act will hasten up the movement to a Cloud system. This migration is more cost-effective and has access to another realm of innovation that associated with cloud systems. It also offers a more secure means to handle data.
Expect that these agencies will, for the sake of providing better services, jettison the legacy system for more efficient digital technology. A good example is the network modernization that allows Chief Information Officers (CIO) to know what exactly happens in their operations.
Although there are critics of the MGT Act, who say that the Act is a misguided venture, the benefits will improve the lives of the American people.
Resources: https://www.fedscoop.com/trump-signs-mgt-act-law/; https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/the-legislative-branch/; https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/capital-funding.asp; https://www.techopedia.com/definition/635/legacy-system