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SAIC’s Lakshmi Ashok: Industry Has Role to Play in Gov’t IT Procurement

Lakshmi Ashok VP-Digital Transformation SAIC
Lakshmi Ashok, VP-Digital Transformation, SAIC

Lakshmi Ashok, vice president of digital transformation at Science Applications International Corp., highlighted the important role contractors play in simplifying the government's buying process for information technology modernization projects.

She wrote in a commentary for FCW published Friday the GovCon community should practice transparency as one way to help agency acquisition personnel understand IT offerings and the public sector should expect a vendor has knowledge of mission requirements incorporated into products.

Ashok urged agencies to shift away from a labor-based procurement model and instead focus on an outcome-driven strategy.

"Attempting to modernize without a comprehensive approach that accounts for an agency's culture, engages its workforce and addresses critical business practices can actually create new or additional challenges that limit effectiveness and negatively affect mission outcomes."

Agencies should also communicate the possible impacts of new IT system implementation to employees and empower them with the skills needed to get the most out of new tools, according to Ashok.

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