The world of diplomacy looks a lot different today than event two short years ago, prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. Technology enabled critical diplomatic activities to continue and transform.
Todd Cheng, Department of State Director of IT Customer Service at the U.S. Department of State, spoke to Interface magazine about the ever-evolving relationship between technology and diplomacy. He credits private sector partnerships, like that between the Department of State and GDIT, for reducing the technology gap and bringing better tools to the edge of diplomacy.
Cheng and his team partner with GDIT, who in the space of eight months, became central to the evolution and maturation of IT service delivery at the Department of State. Currently GDIT is helping to blend the necessary frameworks in ITIL, ISO, Human Centred Design, Project Management and Customer Relationship Management, with an end goal of supporting the many diverse missions of diplomacy.
“It was refreshing to see a new approach that delivers week over week performance improvements,” Cheng adds. “Whenever we detect a challenge, they come in with an after-action report and explain the root cause analysis of the issue, as well as what they are going to do in the form of a corrective action plan. “Within just four months we were able to clearly see how much time and cost the partnership with GDIT was saving for us and for our customers. The key was increasing the quality of first contact resolution. That reduced the time needed to get our customers back to their work.”