This Tuesday’s DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable featured a very interesting discussion with David Wennergren, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Information Management and Technology, and Deputy Chief Information Officer for the Department of Defense.
Wennergren, who was recently named TechAmerica Foundation Government Executive of the Year, discussed the Net Generation guide, a 128-page report by the Federal Chief Information Officers (CIO) Council that focuses on preparing for change in the Federal Information Technology (IT) workforce.
The report identifies the challenges agencies currently face to backfill IT positions with the shrinking workforce, as 957,000 federal workers will become eligible to retire in the next few years. It also discusses how to attract workers between 17 and 31 years old, known as the “Net Generation.”
During the interview, Wennergren said the department must change to draw in employees who have not known a world without the Internet. Two shifts are happening in the federal government, Wennergren said, and each reinforces the other.
First, he said, 971,000 federal employees will become eligible for retirement over the next few years. Second, he explained, is that the world is vastly different from the early days of technology in the federal workplace.
“The world has moved to the Web 2.0 vision of services available anywhere — the ability to move things through the cloud, to use mass collaboration for networking services and to bring speed and agility to the delivery of information capabilities,” he said. “It’s a radical set of changes moving us away from the old world, where the answer was always just to build big information technology systems.”