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How the Government’s Multibillion-Dollar Plan to Modernize Its Tech Could Go Horribly Wrong

Our ‘Kill It With Fire’ moment

Photo Credit: Edwin Levick via Getty Images

Replicating Kafkaesque business processes driven by decades of accumulated policy cruft on more current technology and attempting a “hard cutoff” to this new platform is a recipe for disaster.

The problem is not the mainframe. The problem is that it takes 10 years to train a new claims processor.

The good news is that there are a lot of people in government with the experience, skills, empathy, and mindset to get this right.

The amount of money coming at modernization is only a problem if the people in charge of spending it conflate bold with big.



The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.

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Jennifer Pahlka

Author of Recoding America: Why Government Is Failing in the Digital Age and How We Can Do Better, out May 23. Pre-order! (thank you)