— Management —

Some agencies fail in data center consolidation and software license inventory.

Federal IT modernization is a work in progress, requiring leadership buy in, acquisition reform and a culture change — but adopting cloud services and full network visibility are proving to be difficult obstacles to overcome.

The question is, where to begin this journey?

Executives know the importance of improving customer experience and moving toward the day when all strategies, plans and tactics align to enable true obsession on improving the value delivered to customers. Lawmakers also understand the importance of this and have enacted legislation that aims to clear regulatory hurdles to become customer obsessed.  

The question is, where to begin this journey?

You'll need a plan that supports building bricks (services) out of clay (data).

If you follow the trail of any trend in government IT, you will ultimately arrive at the same place that will determine your relative success — data.

Why wait until the end of the sprint to see if development is on track?

The Agile Advocate is a series of thoughts or musings on the agile movement and DevOps in particular. It was motivated by the seminal work of social philosopher Eric Hoffer, “The True Believer” (1951). It's not meant to be a manifesto, but simply a series of thoughts and reflections coming from over three decades of developing and delivering software and systems of a wide variety — to an even wider variety of users and customers. My aim is not to evangelize or convert, but to provoke and stimulate discussion.

Expect to ruffle some feathers along the way to affect meaningful change.

Typically, when you start a new job, the last thing you want to do is stir the pot. But challenging the status quo is exactly how one government chief information officer built a coalition of like-minded people to drive change departmentwide.

After a long Navy career, Chad Sheridan transitioned into the civilian world in 2011, as CIO of Agriculture Department’s Risk Management Agency. In those early days, he didn’t know anyone there, but somehow ended up spearheading an important agencywide IT coalition, cutting through the department’s federated tension.  

It's a journey, not a one-time event.

Digital business transformation is not just a technology project. Of course, technology is an important component of transformation, but the real focus should be on getting to an end state that enables the business of government to continually and rapidly act and adapt to meet its business and mission objectives.   

The bill promotes an outside-in approach to delivering citizen services.

In May 2017, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., introduced a bill known as the Federal Agency Customer Experience Act of 2017. If enacted in its current form, the bill would put more consistent attention and effort on federal agencies’ taking more of an outside-in approach to delivering citizen services.

What's stopping CIOs and CTOs from realizing the potential of agile and DevOps?

The Agile Advocate is a series of thoughts or musings on the agile movement and DevOps in particular. It was motivated by the seminal work of social philosopher Eric Hoffer, "The True Believer" — at least in structure. It's not meant to be a manifesto, but simply a series of thoughts and reflections coming from over three decades of developing and delivering software and systems of a wide variety to an even wider variety of users and customers. My aim is not to evangelize or convert, but to provoke and stimulate discussion.

Strategic planning processes CIOs follow don’t focus on delivering world-class customer experience.

Across the government ecosystem, there’s talk about focusing on business/mission outcomes and customer needs for designing and delivering services to citizens. These messages are not new; they come from the White House, Congress, agencies and government contractors — all hailing the need to shift the primary focus from the back end — improving efficiency to the front end — customer needs.

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GovernmentCIO Magazine presents this week's new comic strip portraying the whimsical side of federal technology.

The MGT Act aims to slash wasteful IT spending and bolster information security.

The long-awaited effort to revamp government technology earned bipartisan approval Sept. 18 receiving funding as part of the defense spending bill passed in the Senate.

The Modernizing Government Technology Act aims to slash wasteful IT spending and bolster information security by speeding up the federal government’s move to more current technologies. The act would also create a $500 million fund agencies can borrow against to update old systems.

Throughout the plan, there is a strong emphasis on prioritizing investment.

The White House's American Technology Council last month announced it's plan for federal IT modernization. Leaders of that report outlined how to increase commercial technologies adopted by federal agencies and how to faster modernize the government's digital infrastructure.

In the past, government efforts to accelerate modernization ran into familiar roadblocks. Past efforts struggled to execute on collaboration and information sharing; outdated or over-burdensome policies and procedures; organizational politics; and human capital issues.

Patients empowered by tech will have care at their fingertips.

Trips to the hospital could soon be a thing of the past.

Brick-and-mortar clinics will no longer house hospital beds, as care will move into patients’ homes. Technology — and especially the internet of medical things — will empower consumers to take charge of their well-being. And artificial intelligence and algorithms will allow doctors to intervene before bad health outcomes actually occur.

The influx of new data is only going to increase.

Last week, we stressed the importance of closing the gap between strategy and execution through increased focus on strategy implementation. Probably the most important element in closing that gap is empirical evidence — data.  

Data is being created at a remarkable rate, with 90 percent of the world’s data produced in the last two years. The mountain of data is expected to only grow with the expansion of social media, video and the internet of things.

Though efforts remain high, federal execs are not quite where they want to be on their IT modernization journey.

Most federal executives want to strengthen cybersecurity as they modernize IT, but many find their efforts are falling short of actually relieving IT security challenges.

Special by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va.

When I meet with federal IT stakeholders from government agencies and industry, I am constantly reminded why previous reform efforts have failed to meet their potentialthe lack of a robust implementation plan and congressional oversight.

Management needs to articulate its road map.

I’ve had the unique opportunity over the last 30+ years to be involved in multiple large, enterprisewide, mission critical application development projects. I’ve also had the opportunity to develop and bring several products to market. In looking back at these projects, the common thread in the successful ones (yes, some were not successful) was the ability to respond quickly and effectively to the changing needs of the end user.

NGA’s Anthony Vinci’s focus is to get government to innovate faster

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new Office of Ventures and Innovation is slated for an early September formal kickoff currently being stood up by “a guy who wears jeans to the office.”

Of course, we’re going to compile.

I’ve had the unique opportunity over the last 30+ years to be involved in multiple large, enterprisewide, mission critical application development projects. I’ve also had the opportunity to develop and bring several products to market. In looking back at these projects, the common thread in the successful ones (yes, some were not successful) was the ability to respond quickly and effectively to the changing needs of the end user.

The federal fix-it team provides overview of projects in its most recent report to Congress.

Since its 2014 establishment, the U.S. Digital Service has been working with government to improve public-facing digital sites, tools and services. In its July report to Congress, the first under President Donald Trump’s administration, USDS highlighted progress on 10 priority projects with federal agencies.

Camille Tuutti to lead GovernmentCIO Magazine as Editor-in-Chief

July 19, 2017 – GovernmentCIO Magazine, a Washington, D.C.-based government IT thought leadership digital publication, announces today the appointment of Camille Tuutti as editor-in-chief.

Ms. Tuutti is responsible for managing and expanding the content of GCIO’s media platform. She brings strong editorial experience across the spectrum of media - especially in the government market – to this leadership position. 

Camille Tuutti to lead GovernmentCIO Magazine as Editor-in-Chief

July 19, 2017 – GovernmentCIO Magazine (www.governmentciomagazine.com), a Washington, D.C.-based government IT thought leadership digital publication, announces today the appointment of Camille Tuutti as editor-in-chief.

Ms. Tuutti is responsible for managing and expanding the content of GCIO’s media platform. She brings strong editorial experience across the spectrum of media - especially in the government market – to this leadership position. 

Potentially Transformative As It Breaks Down Silos & Improves Transparency.

The next time someone at the neighborhood BBQ suggests the U.S. can solve its fiscal woes by cutting foreign aid, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va. suggests reminding them foreign aid represents about 1 percent of the country’s overall budget. In other words, a rounding error.

DOD should adopt a science and tech management framework.

After assessing eight companies and their approach to managing technology development and investments, the Government Accountability Office has some tips for the Defense Department. These recommendations follow GAO’s report issued June 27, urging DOD to implement an innovation strategy addressing its major defense acquisition programs and weapon systems.

CTO Michael Hermus wants to secure and improve the systems that provide the ultimate end-user outcomes.

With a rather limited IT federal budget, modernizing technology to improve security and processes requires prioritizing those highest-value assets. At the Homeland Security Department, doing so has become a matter of national security.

“Every mission we have is enabled by IT … so if those operators can’t leverage the capabilities that technology provides, that’s a national security problem for us,” said DHS Chief Technology Officer Michael Hermus. 

When the Food and Drug Administration released its IT strategic plan in September 2015, Chief Information Officer Todd Simpson incorporated a review process in order to revisit the plan annually and ensure it keeps up with mandates, new technologies and priorities.

10 government and industry leaders honored at InnovateIT Awards Luncheon.

The AFCEA Bethesda chapter awarded both government and industry change agents for their part in advancing IT within their organization and governmentwide, at its 10th Annual InnovateIT Awards Luncheon on June 1. The awards were presented in Washington, D.C., and included innovation in business and citizen interaction resulting in improved efficiencies and cost savings. The theme of the day coined by keynote speaker David Bray, chief information officer of the Federal Communications Commission, was “leadership is passion to improve our world.”

Most federal agencies have formal Software Development Life Cycle Management frameworks for managing their IT projects. The names of the SDLC phases may vary, but most have one thing in common: the need to create and maintain documentation. Agencies often provide templates in Word, Excel or PowerPoint format to ease the process and encourage consistency across projects. Nevertheless, creating and updating these documents consumes much time and effort and yet often results in outdated information.

Trickle-down effect? Next tier of federal contractors also experienced similar spike in stock price.

With his signature placed atop a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump’s first trip abroad as president provided many happy returns for defense contractors and their shareholders. The agreement, dubbed the “largest arms deal in U.S. history” by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, includes defense equipment and services to help secure Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region from Iranian-related threats.

The House Oversight Subcommittee on Information Technology reintroduced a revised Modernizing Government Technology Act on April 28. The legislation intends to provide agencies with a working capital fund to reduce wasteful IT spending.

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