SBA tech transformation underway, but more work needs to be done

By Kevin Shaker, senior analyst

When Maria Roat took the tech reins at the Small Business Administration last year, she promised to transition a large portion of the agency’s systems to the cloud. Things seem to be well underway, based on the chief information officer’s recent speech at the Citizen Engagement Summit hosted by FCW.

While SBA has made great strides since Roat, the former chief technology officer at the Department of Transportation, took over, tech companies still have opportunities to shape the future of IT at the SBA.

So far the agency has rebuilt SBA.gov’s interface, making it easier for small business owners to apply for loans and giving them easier access to loan processes and information. The website is also now mobile, giving internal and external customers more flexibility in how they use SBA’s services, which is a nice victory for Roat’s new leadership.

She also spoke about the importance of customer data and how and where data is moving and being used, in addition to how the agency is sharing the data and using it for better insights into SBA’s programs and customers. One of the key IT pieces missing is identity management of customers accessing the site. Big data and data integration players can help the agency produce integrated SBA apps to better profile users. This will give users tailored options and ultimately make the apps run cohesively.

She also mentioned that SBA’s integrated applications, which currently do a poor job of talking to each other, will become a more user-friendly and simpler framework. Roat plans to move many of SBA’s applications to a hybrid cloud environment to better serve customers. This means if you have integration or cloud implementation software, SBA will be a good hunting ground for the current fiscal year.

Roat also reported that SBA is in the process of moving information out of its data center into the cloud, which will help engagement with internal and external customers by having a robust cloud architecture. It wouldn’t be in one cloud environment thought. Roat says she prefers a hybrid cloud so those customers can be better supported.

There have been concerns with how new administration appointments will impact the IT climate across the federal landscape. But we know each department and agency will have its own recourse and emphasis. So far it’s been pretty vague as to what effect Linda McMahon, who was recently sworn in as SBA administrator, will be for the agency’s IT infrastructure. It’s safe to assume that cloud migration and IT consolidation will remain the agency’s foremost priority to bring down costs and increase efficiency.

Want to learn more about specific IT programs, mission insight and targeted organizations within the federal landscape?  Learn more about immixGroup’s Market Intelligence capabilities.

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