TechWeb's InformationWeek Government releases key insights from its 2011 Government IT Leadership Forum, an event that brought together more than 200 chief information officers, chief technology officers and other technology decision makers in federal, state and local government on May 5th in Washington, D.C.

Speaking at the Forum, Federal CIO Vivek Kundra said CIOs and other IT leaders in federal government may be able to drive better performance at their agencies by studying the best practices of the private sector.

In a keynote presentation titled "Brainstorming with the Private Sector", Kundra was joined by the CIOs of FedEx, Sunoco, and United Stationers, to whom he asked, "What are you guys doing in your organizations to provide better services and address some of the structural issues?"

The Obama administration is looking for ways to close the "tech gap" that hampers government performance, Kundra said. President Obama recently issued an executive order requiring agencies to improve customer service and instructing them to "learn from what is working in the private sector and apply these best practices to deliver services better, faster, and at lower cost."

One day before the Government IT Leadership Forum, Kundra hosted a meeting at the White House, where public and private sector CIOs discussed what's next in enterprise IT in areas such as mobility, architecture, and delivering IT as a service. That meeting was facilitated by InformationWeek, and the ideas generated there were incorporated into the keynote presentation at the Government IT Leadership Forum.

"With so many pressing issues on their plates, government CIOs are eager to hear what other IT leaders, in both the public sector and the private sector, are doing to raise their IT performance," said John Foley, editor of InformationWeek Government. "InformationWeek's Government IT Leadership Forum provided a venue for idea sharing on topics such as cybersecurity, data center consolidation, cloud computing, and IT project management."

The forum featured a host of leaders from top U.S. agencies, including FBI CIO Chad Fulgham and CTO Jeff Johnson, who discussed the agency's use of agile software development. Carole Post, commissioner of New York City's Department of IT and Telecommunications, provided an overview of the city's open government initiatives and a pilot program to use tablet computers. Other forum speakers included IT leaders from the Department of Defense, US Army, Homeland Security, National Security Agency, NASA, US Patent and Trademarks Office, and US Departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and State.

Event sponsors were 3M, APC by Schneider Electric, Brocade, Dell, Emerson Network Power, IBM, Information Builders, Kodak, LifeSize, Neustar, and Pegasystems.