As we emerge from a challenging two-year period of personal and public responses to COVID-19, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Office of Information and Technology (OIT) is now more than ever equipped to take on whatever hurdles it may face. Our nimble workforce is re-energized by a new Chief Information Officer (CIO), Mr. Kurt DelBene, and we stand ready to build on the sturdy foundation established in recent years.
Upon his arrival in December 2021, Mr. DelBene, a former Vice President at Microsoft, set out to define a fresh vision for OIT. The vison has four priorities, each building on the others and connected by the heart of our mission at OIT: to deliver world-class information technology (IT) solutions to Veterans, their families, and caregivers.
Just as we do for any challenge we face at OIT, our first step in establishing a new vision was to identify the issues we face and develop a blueprint to address them. This brings us to the first priority: vision-driven execution. Each of our Product Lines and Portfolios will have a two- or three-year plan from which we can guide and measure our success. Furthermore, by connecting our plans and ensuing deliveries to the ultimate goal — delighting end users — we unite each Product Line and Portfolio with a common purpose.
At its core, OIT is fundamentally designed to deliver world-class IT solutions. Our second priority — operational excellence — speaks to that primary function. Operational excellence wraps into one package efficient stewardship of taxpayer dollars, effective engineering, and airtight security. As the first did, this priority maps to the overall theme of delivering products and services on which our Veterans and business partners can rely.
Despite being broken into four priorities, OIT’s vision really comes down to one major theme — “delighting” Veterans, families, and caregivers who depend on VA for a range of critical services. It’s not enough to wait for challenges and overcome them. As we implement our vision, we’ll anticipate users’ needs, incorporate their feedback, and deliver products and services that transform how they live.
“We need to figure out how to drive end-user delight,” said Mr. DelBene. “In industry, we talk about ‘delighting’ the customer. It is a core of what gets us excited in the commercial space, excited about what we do. I think it’s interesting that it’s used less in the federal government, but I think that needs to change.”
So how do we enact this change? It starts with us. OIT’s fourth priority, people excellence, grants employees both the responsibility and the opportunity to be public servants. We will be an “on ramp” for talented and diverse recruits — especially Veterans — and an “off ramp” that prepares every employee for whatever he or she pursues after serving our nations Veterans.
Whether it’s streamlining benefits processing in response to the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act of 2022 (Honoring Our PACT Act of 2022), or releasing one of the countless mobile apps developed for Veteran or business partner use, the end goal is the same — satisfied users that can depend on VA services to be streamlined and secure.
So, on behalf of OIT, Mr. DelBene, and the staff who work endlessly to foster VA’s digital transformation, we invite you take a few minutes to check out what’s next in store by watching the Vision 2022 video series.
Our commitment to digital and IT transformation is shaped by daily dedication to customer service and the close collaboration of our workforce, managers, and leaders. Ready to join us in improving Veterans’ care? Check out all current information and technology career opportunities on DigitalVA. You can also contact VA’s Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer at 512-326-6600, Monday thru Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST or by submitting a resume to VACareers@va.gov.