Nitin Pradhan, former CIO of the Department of Transportation and the founder of Launch Dream LLC, the nation's first federal technology accelerator, discussed the power of "Public/Private Innovations" and shared thought-provoking ideas on how to make government more efficient and effective through technology.
The US Public Sector Market is very large: $121 billion in federal, $56 billion in state & local government. According to Pradhan, IT spending in Federal is spread across three categories: Mission IT (complex, high-growth systems such as traffic control systems); Mission Support IT (standardized, low-growth systems such as procurement and grants); and Infrastructure IT (commodities such as email, servers, and data centers.)
Federal, state and local regulations have a powerful impact on both government IT systems and private sector IT systems. Regulations such as "No Child Left Behind" create the need for federal IT systems to carry out the rules and private sector IT systems to support related products and services.
Public sector IT faces many challenges:
How can the public sector overcome these challenges to achieve technology standardization, consistent policy, rapid innovation, and commodity pricing? Pradhan proposes a paradigm shift. Traditional Public Private Partnership (P3) models focus mainly on physical infrastructure - e.g. toll roads. Pradhan's new Public Private Innovation (PPI) models focus on business-technology partnerships.
With this shift in thinking, the government would no longer provide majority funding or operations for the projects. Instead, government becomes a champion and knowledge asset for business-technology based initiatives. The PPI initiatives must seek fundamental problems in the community addressable by technology. As a result, the private sector will profit from new revenue sources while delivering efficient public sector products and services.
Pradhan spoke about the symbiotic relationship between the public and private sector. Combining the public sector's data and standards, sector expertise, and gateway to opportunities with the private sector's access to capital & talent, entrepreneurship, and modern infrastructure results in Public Private Innovations.
Public Private Innovations is the nation's first federal technology accelerator. Their mission is to "drive public value through private growth." They research complex government problems and match them with targeted private technology solutions, and nurture, adapt and deploy commercial technology products and services for the federal sector.
It's essential for private sector firms to improve the market intelligence, drive IT research and deployment, and engage in legislative outreach. By sharing new business models, products, and technologies with the government, they can sync with regulations, standards, and policies. The end result of a public private partnership is a more efficient, effective government, and a robust, strong private sector.
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