US PRESIDENT Donald Trump this week met with senior executives from the biggest US technology firms and called for a sweeping transformation of the federal government's technology
Among the attendees was the leaders of Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Intel, Adobe, Qualcomm, VMware, Accenture and Akamai, as well as leading investors from Silicon Valley at the White House.
Trump said that the country's law enforcement agencies had to "catch up" with the private sector and that federal agencies had to deliver "dramatically better services to citizens".
"We're embracing big change, bold thinking, and outsider perspectives to transform government and make it the way it should be, and at far less cost," he said, adding that government should also have stronger protection from cyber-attacks.
In addition, the Trump administration wants to make savings of as much as a trillion dollars in taxpayer funds over the next decade.
The meeting covered sessions focusing on technology areas including cybersecurity, big data, analytics, cloud computing, as well as other IT-related topics such as talent recruitment, citizen services, purchasing and contract reform and partnerships with the private sector.
After the meetings, Trump's senior advisor Jared Kushner emphasised the importance of data centre consolidation, cloud migration and the modernisation of "decades old" IT systems, in a press conference with reporters.
He also criticised the fact that floppy disks were still used by the Pentagon, and that federal regulations were outdated and therefore hampering innovation.
But the meeting was not solely focused on the Trump administration's wishes, as several of the tech leaders had suggestions of their own - including Apple CEO Tim Cook, who suggested that coding should be made a requirement in schools.
There has been a tense relationship between Trump and the technology vendors; many of the technology leaders had backed Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election, and more recently, many of the tech companies committed to the Paris Agreement on climate change, despite Trump's decision to withdraw from the deal signed by 195 nations. The move even led Elon Musk, the leader of SpaceX and Tesla, to reportedly skip the White House summit.
However, White House officials sought to downplay any lingering tension between the executives and Trump. µ
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