Speaker News

Pandemic Highlighted Need for Better Government Digital Footprint, Maria Roat Says

Maria Roat

Federal CIO


Pandemic Highlighted Need for Better Government Digital Footprint, Maria Roat Says

The coronavirus pandemic has made it clear that the government needs to expand its digital footprint to better serve citizens in a modern fashion, according to Deputy Federal Chief Information Maria Roat.

Roat, a 2020 Wash100 awardee and a past Potomac Officers Club event speaker, noted that most people already have mobile phones and expect to be able to digitally interact with their government, FedScoope reported

"So I think this really put a big spotlight on that and where there’s a need for more digital enhancements and how we interface in that customer experience with every person that we deal with across the country,” Roat said. 

She cited the Department of Veterans Affairs as one of the agencies that took the opportunity to improve digital interactions with Americans during the pandemic. The public health crisis also provided opportunities for better authentication and identity management controls, she added.

“Those are some of the lessons learned and challenges that we bring forward and how do we address those as the government continues to expand its digital footprint,” Roat said. 

Agencies should also use and improve upon their internal collaboration tools to be able to better interface with other government agencies, she added. Roat used the Small Business Administration, where she previously served as CIO, as an example of an agency where such collaboration tools are already leveraged.

Roat also commended the government's success when it comes to data sharing during the pandemic, saying the success was largely because of the Federal Data Strategy. 

She added that she wants the government to sustain its modernization momentum even after the pandemic subsides. “I want to see that continue. And for that to continue, there needs to be that focus on long-term modernization across the federal government,” Roat said. 

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Category: Speaker News