The failures of are symptomatic of larger issues with federal IT

Nishant Shah, Senior Analyst, Government Technology

Since its October 1 launch, – the $400m portal through which uninsured Americans are supposed to be able to enroll in Obamacare – has experienced widely reported technical problems, prompting President Obama to publicly express his anger over the situation and promise a “tech surge” to fix the site.

There have also been Congressional hearings grilling the contractors and federal Health and Human Services (HHS) staff involved. Warranted or not, rarely has an IT failure received this kind of mainstream attention from the public and the media.

If – the public-facing portion of one of the White House’s signature achievements and highest priorities – is suffering from major IT failures, one can imagine the level of systemic dysfunction that plagues non-public-facing IT projects that do not receive the same level of scrutiny. Clearly major departures from the status quo are needed, and this …