05
Aug
11

Incentives matter, volume… er… I’ve lost count

Fresh on the heels of news that S&P has downgraded American government debt, we find this amusing headline on Ars Technica:

New federal CIO and former Microsoft exec Steven VanRoekel treats us to this howler:

The gap between how the private sector deploys IT and how the public sector does is the single largest factor in the productivity gap” between private industry and the government, he said. Citizens and federal employees increasingly expect “to really have a 21st century experience,” an expectation the government sometimes struggles to meet.

(Emphasis added.)

It has nothing to do with the fact that the private sector has “customers” who can choose from a cornucopia of options and give their money to the company that offers the most “21st century experience” (uh huh), whereas the public sector has “taxpayers” who, while they might be able to choose from a handful of options for some goods in some juristictions, end up giving their money to municipal, state, and federal governments regardless.  Nope, not a thing.

Borders recently went belly-up due in large part to its abysmally poor ability to “deploy IT” and offer a “21st century experience” when compared to its competitor Amazon.com.  I wonder how many government departments will find themselves put out of business if Mr. VanRoekel can’t close the gap.

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