FITARA 6.0: Overall Scores Drop and Software License Management (SLM) continues to lag in Federal Agencies
Three Lessons SIE Learned by Helping Agencies Earn As on their MEGABYTE Software Licensing Scores
Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) 6.0 scores were recently posted, and while we see little improvement in the MEGABYTE component for software licensing, the report card reveals that the majority of Agencies still need assistance on managing their software assets.
Let’s start with the good news. The FITARA 6.0 report reveals that eight Agencies received an ‘A’ score on software licensing, up by two (from six) on the FITARA 5.0 report card issued in November 2017. In June 2017, only two Agencies received an ‘A’ score. We can call this slow, but steady progress.
The bad news is that many Agencies continue to receive failing grades in software licensing. The FITARA 6.0 report card shows fourteen Agencies receiving an ‘F’ score, three less than November 2017. In June 2017, twenty-one Agencies received a score of ‘F’.
Now that we have three report cards measuring how Agencies are managing their software licensing, what are the key takeaways?
1. SIE Consulting Group, by leading GSA’s Software License Management Service (SLMS), recently assisted two Agencies to improve their MEGABYTE scores from an ‘F’ to an ‘A’. As part of our engagements with those Agencies, we baselined their software license management maturity and identified financial savings and risk-reduction opportunities. Importantly, SIE also reviewed the Agencies’ previous FITARA submissions, evaluating the key data reported, and the written narrative describing plans for software licensing maturity. Working with our Agency customers, we identified the key areas for improving software licensing management – leading to increased scores for our customers.
2. When it comes to compliance, we recognize that Agencies are pulled in multiple directions. For FITARA specifically, Agencies are not only scored on software licensing, they are also scored on additional criteria specific to IT acquisition. New on the FITARA 6.0 scorecard is an evaluation on how well the Agency is complying with the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act. While it isn’t clear today on the details for how Agencies will be evaluated, we can assume that like MEGABYTE, the House Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) Committee was looking for early adopters, and a commitment to modernize from MGT funds. Similar to our efforts assisting customers with software license management, and MGT compliance, proposals for Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) should focus on quick wins, with opportunity for high Return on Investment (ROI), and short payback periods.
3. The last lesson may be most important. Through numerous Agency engagements, we’ve learned the importance of communication within the Agency. Agencies need to commit to software license compliance from the executive level. When that commitment and executive level support exists, it makes it easier to work through siloes and make collective improvements across the Agency.
It is difficult to predict that the steady progress of improving software license MEGABYTE scores across the Federal government will continue. However, our team has learned that setting goals and prioritizing compliance can make a difference. One customer adopted an “A by May” mantra for its efforts, and, with help from SIE, they were able to meet their goal.
To learn more about SIE’s demonstrated SLM, MGT, and other services, contact us today at www.sieconsultinggroup.com.
The Making Electronic Government Accountable By Yielding Tangible Efficiencies Act of 2016 (MEGABYTE Act), requires each executive agency CIO to establish a comprehensive inventory of software licenses, track and maintain such licenses, analyze software usage to make cost-effective decisions, provide software license management training, establish goals and objectives of the agency’s software license management program, and consider the software license management life cycle phases to implement effective decision-making and incorporate existing standards, processes, and metrics.