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WT ExecutivePerspectives
Diversity and inclusion are particularly important with emerging technologies that can create ethical issues, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.
“The cost savings were pitched as so high, but we couldn’t hit them unless we were at scale and you can’t just jump to scale,” one executive said.
Agencies balked when those cost savings didn’t emerge, and the industry shifted its focus to outcomes, the mis- sion impact and the cybersecurity ben- efits. Cloud’s use grew over the years as people adjusted their expectations.
That’s a lesson technology execu- tives carry with them when they advance new innovations. “We should remember that it’s going to be hard for us and for our customers, and it takes sustained effort,” an executive said.
The importance of diversity
and inclusion
Successfully adopting new innovations
hinges on having the right culture and people. On a positive note, as the gov- ernment moves to the leading edge of technology adoption, younger workers are drawn in by the opportunity to work with these technologies in support of agencies’ critical missions.
However, the government still faces the challenge of convincing long-term employees to try something new. “The most important part is to focus on the mission outcome you are trying to achieve,” an executive said.
Likewise, companies need to develop innovation cultures internally. “You have to foster a culture where the best idea wins,” one executive said, and that takes time, patience and effort. “It can’t be an individual trying to be a hero and change things. It’s got to be a groundswell com- ing from the bottom up, coming from the top down, and it’s got to be pervasive.”
That topic sparked a discussion about the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. “At the end of the day, I need the best talent, and I can’t achieve that if my company is perceived that favors people of a particular race or gender,” one participant said.
Jason Cunningham
CTO, Healthcare Management Solutions
David Dacquino
CEO, Serco Inc.
Mark D’Alessandro
Senior Director of Data Center Sales, Dell Technologies
Paul Dillahay
CEO, NCI Information Systems
John Griffin
Vice President, Federal Channel and FSI Sales, DellTechnologies
Sharon Hays, Ph.D.
Srini Iyer
Senior Vice President, ManTech International
Lee Kair
Principal,The Chertoff Group
Glenn Kurowski
CTO, CACI International
Ricardo Lorenzo
CTO, Parsons
Petros Mouchtaris
President, Peraton Labs
Charles Onstott
CTO, Calibre
Kim Pack
CEO, Wolf Den Associates
Chief Growth Officer, LinQuest Corp.
Note: Washington Technology Editor-in-Chief Nick Wakeman led this July 22, 2021, roundtable discussion. The virtual gathering was underwritten by DellTechnologies, but both the substance of the discussion and the published article are strictly editorial products. Neither Dell nor any of the participants had input beyond their July 22 comments.
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