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Blockchain Technology in the Federal Government, Part 1

Most of the discussion around IT modernization in the federal government this year has centered on the potential benefits of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, automation or blockchain technology.

ReImagine HHS(Health & Human Services) is an innovative initiative to transform the way the health services department does business. They aim to make acquisition more efficient by leveraging AI, automation and blockchain technologies in collaboration to craft a series of microservices that use procurement data to find cost savings, design better contracts and slash buying time.

Even though the main and first project is to create a better acquisition process this is just the first area that will be using the emerging technology; blockchain for efficiency purposes. The target is to trim the average acquisition’s lifecycle down from 200 days to just 90 and provide enterprise-wide visibility into a spending process that operates across the federated agency. What they found was a disparity in the prices of supplies that were frequently needed. For instance, if one office needed latex gloves they had a price of $1.00 and another office would have a price of $.60. With this one example it was imperative that a change needed to happen. The cost savings across the department by using blockchain technology to streamline and decentralize the purchasing process as well as allow peer to peer checks and balances is the right way to do business in order to survive and win in this new era.

So what was key to getting buy-in from the naysayers about emerging technology and it use in the federal government? One of the decisions made was to have a prototype constructed to show what the improved process would look like. To see the transactions in real time helps to show how this project not only works as intended yet, it is able to work across multiple use cases in the organization. It makes it easy to collect the data, report the data and analyze the data,

The message that seems to be coming the theme from federal government supporters of emerging tech…”be educated on the technology and be flexible to benefit from the results.”

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