PSC and Attain Release Findings From the 2020 Federal CIO Survey 

Arlington, Va. (Jan. 12, 2021) The Professional Services Council (PSC), in partnership with Attain, a leading management, technology, and strategy consulting firm, has released the report of their 2020 Federal CIO Survey: Accelerating and Managing IT Modernization During Uncertainty. This year’s edition of PSC’s annual Federal CIO Survey includes insights from CIO and IT executives across the federal landscape, including IT modernization efforts. 

PSC, Attain, and volunteers from other member companies interviewed federal CIOs during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to gain an understanding of the top priorities of federal IT leaders, the forces driving change in government IT, and key trends in how agencies develop and deliver solutions.

“This report highlights the vital roles that both federal CIOs and their services contracting partners play in supporting the missions of the federal government even as they responded to the COVID-19 global pandemic,” said PSC’s President and CEO David Berteau. “The survey provides the incoming Biden Administration with the factors impacting federal IT modernization that they will have to tackle from day one.” 

Key highlights from the survey include: 

Modernization efforts focus on both funding and technology, but successful execution also depends on leadership, a skilled and competent workforce, and the culture of the organization.

Current agency IT modernization efforts cover a broad range of results achieved and remaining work to be done.

Scenarios such as COVID-19 were generally not addressed in business continuity planning; some agencies were challenged, while others transitioned more readily to new modes of operation.

CIOs are being viewed by their agencies as strategic partners, better positioned to drive change within their agencies.

Successful modernization efforts require effective management of a robust government-contractor partnership. 

Positive trends in the future of government IT include better adoption of new technologies; increased interconnectivity of core services, business operations, and mission; and support for a more geographically diverse workforce. 

“As a former federal CIO, I found it very interesting to see how far government IT management has evolved, supported both by advances in technology, as well as progress made under FITARA,” said Simon Szykman, Partner and Chief Technology Officer at Attain, and lead author of the report. “Yet at the same time, so many of the same priorities and non-technological considerations continue to be essential drivers of how IT is implemented and deployed in support of mission and business services.” 

The full 2020 Federal CIO Survey report is at  

Media Contact:
Pheniece Jones
Director, Media Relations 

About PSC:
 PSC is the voice of the government technology and professional services industry. PSC’s more than 400 member companies represent small, medium and large businesses that provide federal agencies with services of all kinds, including information technology, engineering, logistics, facilities management, operations and maintenance, consulting, international development, scientific, social, environmental services, and more. Together, the trade association’s members employ hundreds of thousands of Americans in all 50 states. Follow PSC on Twitter @PSCSpeaks. To learn more, visit

About Attain: Based in McLean, Va., Attain is a leading management, technology, and strategy consulting firm comprised of innovative problem solvers who disrupt the status quo to change the world and improve the lives of those they serve. Powered by extreme automation, Attain leverages a holistic, agile, secure, and customer-centered approach to digital transformation, advancing our clients’ missions across the government, education, healthcare, and nonprofit landscapes. For more information, please visit

A PDF of this release can be found here