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Archive: April 2016
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The landscape of war has dramatically changed over the years. Putting boots on the ground is no longer the only option countries have in terms of subduing enemies, and this fact could make all the difference in the near future. Cyberwar is increasingly becoming a convenient and powerful tool, as it has the potential for disrupting communications, gaining intel and generally ruining a group's day. It should be no surprise that the U.S. as well as other nations are gearing up to use this method as a long-term strategy in accomplishing their goals.  Read More

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Businesses across all industries have been traditionally reluctant to migrate to new technologies and processes while leaving behind their tried-and-true practices. Sectors that are heavily regulated are even harder to sell on modernizing their hardware and software infrastructures due to the amount of considerations and challenges that can be introduced. It's no surprise, then, that the federal government has been slow to upgrade and is still gradually making changes to its IT portfolio.  Read More

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In order to help both private and public sector entities better protect themselves from hackers, malware and other threats, the Obama Administration recently created a new commission to help draft protection guidelines for organizations to follow. Officially dubbed the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, the non-partisan group features 12 veteran leaders from large enterprises, leading Silicon Valley firms and government agencies. This group is tasked with presenting Congress in December 2016 with tangible steps both public and private organizations can take to bolster cybersecurity and ensure more robust data protection.  Read More

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Cloud computing has effectively taken over businesses in virtually every sector over the past few years. For government, the road to virtual platforms has been paved with roadblocks in the forms of security, budget and overall hesitance to change from tried-and-true solutions. Despite these challenges, many federal and local government organizations have adopted the cloud for their operations, and it's making a significant difference. Other agencies that aren't using the cloud are likely to start their journey to these platforms in the near future, and will begin reaping all the benefits the cloud can offer.  Read More

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Chatbots may be the next big thing in tech, and the technology could prove enormously beneficial in the public arena. Chatbots, although just known as bots for short, are a form of artificial intelligence, noted Hannah Francis, a Technology Reporter with the Sydney Morning Herald. A bot works by executing a command and formulating a particular response depending on what is typed in as the input.  Read More

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In order to help both private companies and public agencies better make sense of publicly-available data, a team of academics and consultants have teamed up to create a tool that visualizes and more effectively displays this information. The tool is called Data USA, and it provides a search engine-like interface to help interested parties learn more about locations, occupations, industries and more. The site also includes pre-made breakdowns to make it easy to determine everything from the highest earning jobs in real estate to the racial breakdown of poverty levels in Flint, Michigan. Data USA is still fairly new, so additional data and pre-made filters will likely continue to be added to it in the coming months and years.  Read More

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To help ensure mobile app developers don't run afoul of the law, a consortium of federal agencies recently created a tool that provides helpful guidance on health-related laws and compliance. The Mobile Health Apps Interactive Tool was created as a joint effort between the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration and the Office for Civil Rights. It is a simple, interactive checklist for those developing health-related apps to make sure their program is following various laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.  Read More

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The state of government security is drastically shifting to have a larger focus on cyberspace than ever before. Federal organizations deflect threats from malware, ransomware and viruses on a daily basis, but the risks are becoming more dire as time passes. Malicious parties are advancing their tactics as quickly as security firms are upgrading their solutions to fend off threats. This volatile environment is leading to numerous breaches and more determination to protect sensitive information under federal domain.  Read More

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As part of a broader effort to boost innovation and reduce costs across the board, the White House recently announced a new initiative that will make the code for all federal government software open sourced and available to everyone. In a late March blog post announcing the initiative, federal CIO Tony Scott said that going forward, all software that is designed or used only by federal agencies must have its source code be freely available. This will enable innovation, he said, by allowing a wider variety of parties to tinker and improve on government software. It also aligns federal government IT efforts more closely with private sector best practices. Plus, it hopefully eliminates the need to have to purchase multiple software licenses for different agencies, helping to streamline costs across the board.  Read More



I was recently able to participate in an Industry Perspectives piece through Government Executive magazine’s Government Business Council. The piece was entitled, “Maintaining your Legacy, Adopting New Technologies: Integrating the Cloud.” In this article, we reviewed how agencies can quickly and securely adopt cloud strategies in mixed infrastructure environments.  Read More

Cloud CRM has Taken Over Business, Will Government Follow?

Posted on August 08, 2012 0 comments
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According to a survey of over 600 organizations issued by Really Simple Systems, 56% of companies are using a Cloud CRM system (compared to 45% this time last year); 72% of respondents claimed to have more confidence generally than a year ago; and 80% of indicated Cloud solutions require less IT support. Only 15% of respondents (commercial) admitted to still having reservations regarding adoption of Cloud systems, a decrease of 8% from last year’s figures. What does all of this mean? The confidence in Cloud solution adoption, at least in the private sector, is clearly on the rise.  Read More

Valuable Insights on Cloud Computing

Posted on August 02, 2012 0 comments
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On July 18, I had the opportunity to attend a half-day GTSI / Federal Computer Week sponsored seminar titled “Making Cloud a Reality – How to Procure, Migrate and Adapt to the Government Cloud.” Speakers from the Department of State, GSA, DHS, NASA, NIH and the legislative branch shared their first-hand experiences on implementing cloud computing to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, as well as various cloud procurement challenges. I wanted to bring up a few important nuggets of information that I gathered from these esteemed speakers.  Read More

Cloud First Today

Posted on July 26, 2012 0 comments
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I appreciate the initiative that former U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra had in promoting and driving cloud computing for government use by instituting the Cloud First policy. But where do we stand now, roughly a year and a half since he first outlined the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy? We are finally beginning to see the dawn of cloud adoption across the federal IT landscape.  Read More

AWS goes down? Let’s back up and look at the facts!

Posted on July 16, 2012 0 comments
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OK. The bashing of Amazon Web Services (AWS) after one of their Northern Virginia data centers went down as a result of major storms in the DC area a week ago is almost over. Now it is time to look at the facts. Did the data center lose power in the storm and go down? Yes, it did, along with hundreds of thousands of other facilities/homes. But let’s look at the issues. As I have blogged about many times before and discuss thoroughly in my book“Get Your Head in the Cloud: Unraveling the Mystery for Public Sector,” many Cloud providers are designed around their data centers not going down. Ever. Take for example, Terremark. You can visit their impressive facility in Culpeper, Virginia (with an appointment and a good reason, of course), where you will see multiple generators and numerous gas storage tanks. You will hear about the contracts they have (with SLA’s ) to deliver fuel in time to keep those generators running in case of power failure. That is not how AWS is structured.  Read More

Bridging the Gap Between Legislation and Technology

Posted on July 13, 2012 0 comments
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According to an article in Federal Computer Week, the recent storm outages across the Washington, D.C. area show a weakness in the federal telework policy. In this situation, telework did not provide this area with effective disaster recovery (DR) or continuity of operations capabilities. This leads me to believe that we need to help bring government policy and technology together to improve the quality of legislation that deals with technology solutions.  Read More

Listening to Government Workers Demands Could Save Agency Budgets

Posted on July 03, 2012 0 comments
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In Steven VanRoekel’s latest blog post he announced the formation of a Digital Services Innovation Center and said a new advisory group has begun working on a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy for federal employees. In his post, Mr. VanRoekel described the Digital Services Innovation Center as a “virtual hub” designed to operationalize the principle of “build once, use many times,” supported by agencies across government, to incubate and accelerate innovative digital services.  Read More

Big Data and the Public Sector

Posted on June 27, 2012 0 comments
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In my May 30th blog, I talked about how Big Data discussions are starting to gain traction and build buzz across the federal government. Last week I had an opportunity to attend the FCW Federal Briefing on Big Data, which turned out to be a very good event. The packed room, consisting of government employees, decision makers, vendors, solution providers and academia had a lively discussion on some excellent topics. There were keynotes and panel discussions on Big Data by some very influential folks including Dr.Suzi Iacono (Sr. Science Advisor at NSF), Dr. George Strawn (Director at NCO and Co-Chair at NITRD), Dr. Chris Greer (Associate Director at NIST) and several others. This one day seminar was centered on the emerging challenges, trends, directions and solutions for Big Data and Data Analytics. The speakers provided a consistent understanding of the challenges and opportunities associated with Big Data, sharing some thought provoking nuggets of information.  Read More

FedRAMP To Ensure Cloud Security

Posted on June 20, 2012 0 comments
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Last week, the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) office started taking applications from Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) who want to attain security accreditations. This is the next step in a process that many of us have been following for the past 18 months. But what does this mean?  Read More

FAA Moving to 21st Century!

Posted on June 06, 2012 0 comments
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Last week it was announced that the team of CSC and Microsoft won the award to migrate all of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) email to the Microsoft SaaS Cloud using Office 365. But that wasn’t all that was in the announcement. As part of the federal government’s new “Shared Services” policy, it was announced that all of the Department of Transportation (including its 12 other agencies) will also be able to migrate their email as part of this contract.  Read More