Molly O'Neill, CGI Federal

Molly O'Neill


The job of the federal executive can be daunting. Facing the need to make both tactical and strategic decisions that impact the agency’s ability to deliver on the mission, many leaders recognize the need to take a holistic point of view.

When I was a federal CIO, I knew that while day-to-day operations can easily consume my time, I also needed to take time to think beyond what we, as the agency, were doing  to  prepare for emerging trends and threats, improve efficiency, reduce cost, eliminate redundancies and otherwise make decisions that would deliver lasting impact.

As a C-suite leader, I also recognized the value of looking beyond my agency to understand trends and priorities across the federal market and, frankly, the globe. When I left the federal service and re-joined industry, one of the reasons why I joined CGI was its consultative focus on helping executives understand not only where they are but where they could and should be going—and how to get there. One way CGI collaborates with the leaders we serve is through our annual CGI Voice of Our Clients program.

You might have seen the CGI 2023 Voice of Our Clients report last fall, or my appearance on the CGI Voices podcast to talk about the results of the work.


The Voice of Our Clients program provides valuable insights into CGI’s markets across all the countries and industries we serve, including the U.S. federal government. Through conversations with executives across the globe, we gather rich data that industry and government alike can utilize.

As we begin to prepare for the 2024 Voice of Our Clients, it is an opportune time to explain just how we structure the Voice of Our Clients program and why participating is worth your time.

It’s not just a web form

The key point to know about the Voice of Our Clients program is that we don’t take shortcuts with it. The program is structured as a comprehensive study created through one-to-one interviews between CGI’s leaders and the government, business and IT executives, who best understand the challenges and opportunities that are most important at that time.

This is not an online survey or a quick phone call. Participants aren’t just checking a box and moving on to the next question. We spend the time it takes to develop a thorough, timely and tailored question set for both business and technology leaders. The program covers 22 sub-industries to deliver a unique insight into the evolution of the trends, priorities and challenges impacting clients year over year.

Since 2018, we’ve collected over a million data points through more than 8,000 conversations. In 2023, 1,764 of our clients participated across the globe, 27% of which were government organizations.

Armed with insights from our significant analysis, we can help our clients with shared ideas and information on how their counterparts are addressing similar challenges or leveraging similar opportunities.

Rich conversations deliver impactful insights

Our conversations include a broad set of questions for each interviewee. Some of the questions remain unchanged from year to year, while we develop others each year to inquire about emerging trends and priorities. This consistency enables us to provide deeper insight based on the range of responses. And because we ask the questions in live one-on-one interviews, we can probe deeper to learn the whys behind the whats.

Our goal is to get at the nuances within the data and understand why any given priority is a priority.

Time well-spent

Taking the time to participate in these interviews is valuable for the federal leaders just as much as it is for us at CGI. It enables you to detach from your day-to-day operations and consider the bigger picture. It encourages you to think toward the future and contemplate emerging trends and technologies. And ultimately, it provides you with an advance look at our findings from your peers, both within and outside of the federal government.

During my tenure as a federal leader, I knew that I needed to set aside time to think beyond current projects and decisions I needed to make. Taking the time to participate in  dynamic conversations focused on macro trends, key priorities and potential future vision is a great way to step back and think about where the organization is going and how we plan to get there. Moreover, I always found it valuable to hear from a trusted industry leader about how my organization compared to my peers’. I also wanted to know and what other industries were doing that might influence the government industry.

Armed with insights from our significant analysis, CGI can help our clients with shared ideas and information on how their counterparts are addressing similar challenges or leveraging similar opportunities.

Participants also get the final results of the year’s information gathering, so they can see how they compare to others—their peers within federal agencies, other industries and even other countries.

Personally, I am energized at the beginning of each calendar year as CGI launches a new cycle of Voice of Our Clients conversations. Leaders across CGI are reaching out to federal leaders to schedule conversations. I hope government executives at all levels will join us at the physical or virtual table for an engaging conversation that results in meaningful insights you can act on.

Interested in participating? Email me and let me know. 

About this author

Molly O'Neill, CGI Federal

Molly O'Neill


Molly O’Neill supports strategy, capture and thought leadership on key CGI Federal opportunities.