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Why Spend Planning is Critical for Federal CIOs

Read Time 2 mins | Written by: Lisa Akers

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With all the financial oversight by Agency CFO, OIG, and GAO, spend planning and management is proactive way to stay out of the inquiry game. More importantly, spend planning makes spend management easier and also allows agency leadership to know if they are effectively using their budget allocation. 

Spend planning is especially crucial for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) at all levels for several reasons: 

  1. Budget Allocation: CIOs are responsible for managing the information technology (IT) resources and infrastructure within their respective federal agencies. Effective spend planning allows CIOs to allocate the budget in a way that aligns with the agency's strategic goals and priorities. It helps them determine how much funding should be allocated to different IT initiatives, such as cybersecurity, modernization efforts, infrastructure upgrades, and digital transformation projects.
  2. Resource Optimization: By engaging in spend planning, CIOs can optimize the allocation of resources within their agencies. They can identify areas where there might be inefficiencies or duplication of efforts, allowing them to reallocate resources to more critical IT initiatives. This helps ensure that federal agencies make the best use of their limited resources and deliver maximum value to their users and citizens.
  3. Risk Management: Spend planning allows CIOs to prioritize investments in robust security measures, risk management frameworks, and compliance initiatives. By strategically allocating funds, CIOs can enhance the security posture of their agencies, mitigate risks, and safeguard sensitive government data from potential breaches or cyber-attacks.
  4. Accountability and Transparency: As fiscal stewards of taxpayer funds, federal agencies must be accountable and transparent in their financial management. Spend planning provides CIOs with a framework to track and report on IT expenditures. They can demonstrate how funds are being used to achieve specific outcomes, meet performance goals, and deliver value to citizens. This accountability and transparency are essential for building public trust and maintaining the credibility of federal agencies.
  5. IT Governance: Spend planning supports effective IT governance within federal agencies. CIOs need to ensure that IT investments are aligned with the agency's strategic objectives, comply with relevant regulations and policies, and support interagency collaboration when necessary. By engaging in spend planning, CIOs can establish governance structures, evaluate investment proposals, and make informed decisions regarding the prioritization of IT projects.

While spreadsheets might be a way to start spend planning, proactive spend planning and management requires more functionality.  Request a demo of Seventh Sense’s Spend Intelligence app Demo ( . 

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Lisa Akers

Ms. Lisa Akers brings 25 years of proven Federal and Industry leadership experience, as well as extensive functional expertise in acquisition, program management, assisted acquisition shared services and business operations management. As Executive Vice President of Solutions at Seventh Sense Consulting (SSC), Ms. Akers is responsible for developing and delivering innovative solutions to meet client requirements and objectives. Prior to joining Seventh Sense Consulting, Ms. Akers served as President (2013- 2016) for ASI Government’s Products and Solutions Division where she was responsible for managing the Virtual Acquisition Office (VAO) used by 25,000 federal acquisition professionals and as President (2010 – 2013) for ASI’s Consulting Division that had a $35M portfolio focused on acquisition and program management support services to federal government agencies. Prior to joining ASI Government, Ms. Akers spent over 16 years in the General Services Administration, Federal Systems Integration and Management Center (GSA FEDSIM) where she was the FEDSIM Director for her last five years and Deputy Director for the previous four years. FEDSIM is an assisted acquisition organization specializing in large information technology and services acquisitions with $1.4B annual obligations on behalf of 100+ other federal agencies. Ms. Akers received the 2011 FED100 award for her work as Industry Lead for the ACT-IAC 25 Points to IT Acquisition Reform and the 2006 FED100 award for industry outreach and stakeholder management for the ALLIANT and ALLIANT SB GWACs. She received the Meritorious Service Award while at GSA. She holds a bachelor's degree in Microbiology from Pennsylvania State University, and a master's degree in Information Technology Systems from George Washington University.