International Trade Administration (ITA) Deputy CIO May Cheng on accelerating the adoption of ITA’s customer and product-centric approach to IT management with a focus on Agile, DevSecOps, Value Proposition, and Human Centred Design

May Cheng reflects on her approach to the digital challenge that lay ahead when she joined International Trade Administration to take up her role as Deputy CIO in 2021: “I am a strong advocate for delivering smarter user experience and strive to provide a better digital government experience to the public. During my federal career, I have worked across seven different agencies. One common thread is helping each of them transform their culture, processes, and the way they do business. Each time I joined a new agency, I looked for ways to digitise the agency’s business processes. Additionally, I look to optimise operations so they can provide a smarter and faster customer experience to the public.”

Agile digital transformation

In her role May leads the office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) through the changes and adjustments of ITA’s digital transformation journey. “My team’s focus is on a shift to agile product delivery and increasing the value-add to our mission,” she says. “Additionally, I drafted an IT strategic plan to help set direction and expectations of both staff and stakeholders.” May created a vision within the organisation and reshaped her team to achieve unified technology priorities. “It’s important to cultivate an inclusive environment. We must foster a proactive, problem-solving culture that values the unique differences of individuals and the open exchange of ideas,” she says. “This enhances accountability, efficiency, and the overall customer experience for the agency worldwide.”


In 2022, May and her team began planning a DevSecOps framework for ITA – an approach to development, security, and operations to manage culture, automation, and platform design integrating throughout the entire IT lifecycle. “The goal is to revamp our IT operating model. We aim to be more efficient and create a cohesive collaborative digital work environment for the team and our stakeholders,” notes May. “And we must always include cybersecurity in our conversations and IT investments. Security should never be an afterthought.”

Read the full story here

Related Stories

We believe in a personal approach

By working closely with our customers at every step of the way we ensure that we capture the dedication, enthusiasm and passion which has driven change within their organisations and inspire others with motivational real-life stories.