3 Joint Staff Takeaways from MILCOM 2015

Number 3 Fingers_CroppedMark Wisingerby Mark Wisinger, Analyst

Joint Staff J6 Director Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman recently spoke at MILCOM 2015 with DOD topics such as the Joint Information Environment (JIE), the Joint Regional Security Stack (JRSS), and interoperability top of mind. These reflections shed light on the Joint Staff’s IT priorities and challenges.

Here are the three main takeaways that COTS vendors and channel partners (large and small) will find of value:

  1. Common Architecture

At this juncture, Lt. Gen. Bowman believes the DOD’s JIE should be more advanced — progress is not moving fast enough. He indicated that there is a need for common architecture, especially an architecture than can be controlled by the Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) via the DOD Information Network Joint Force Headquarters (DODIN-JFHQ). Open and compatible architecture is a continuing challenge for the DOD at large. Ensure your product messaging emphasizes compatibility, as this is the key element the Joint Staff is looking for in COTS products. Read more of this post

3 Aspects of Navigating Government Convergence

ImmixgroupGOVit-219_250x166Chris Wiedemann_65 x 85by Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

As immixGroup’s 2nd Annual Government IT Sales Summit draws closer, I want to give you an inside look at the major theme of this year’s 11th Annual Civilian Budget Briefing: convergence. Whether in acquisition, management structure, or technology, the federal COTS market is positioned to come together in new ways this year.

Here are three broad trends the Market Intelligence organization will explore next Thursday, November 19th at the 2nd Annual Government IT Sales Summit: Read more of this post

Navigating Government’s Evolving Contractual Landscape

Contracts_TOTom O'Keefeby Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant

Government is raising the bar for competition, making management of contract vehicles more complicated through increased reporting requirements and consolidation of spend into large systems development vehicles. Competing in this environment is becoming more and more challenging for technology vendors with limited resources to balance between managing and growing their business. Identifying an optimal go-to-market strategy is critical for technology suppliers to expand their public sector footprint, but finding the best path forward isn’t always cut and dry.  With this in mind, how should technology companies proceed?

Read more of this post

Cyber Sprint Now a Cyber Marathon

CyberMarathon_LMLloyd McCoy Jr.by Lloyd McCoy Jr., Consultant

As a follow-up to the Cyber Sprint we saw this summer, the federal CIO, Tony Scott, and OMB just announced the Cybersecurity Strategy and Implementation Plan (CSIP) which, like its predecessor, maps out objectives and action plans for agencies — and in this case, the civilian departments — to follow. While the Cyber Sprint is aimed at achieving ‘quick wins,’ the CSIP is focused on raising baseline security practices and policies indefinitely.

The Plan is organized around the following five core objectives:

  1. Prioritized Identification and Protection of high-value assets and information;
  2. Timely Detection of and Rapid Response to cyber incidents;
  3. Rapid Recovery from incidents when they occur and accelerated adoption of lessons learned from the Sprint assessment;
  4. Recruitment and Retention of the most highly-qualified cybersecurity workforce talent the federal Government can bring to bear; and
  5. Efficient and Effective Acquisition and Deployment of existing and emerging technology

Read more of this post

Internet of Things: 3 Areas of Opportunity for COTS Vendors

IoT_KSKevin Shaker_65 x 85by Kevin Shaker, Analyst, Market Intelligence

The Internet of Things (IoT) is more than just a buzzword, it’s a full-blown reality. IoT is essentially the composition of multiple electronics, sensors, software, and device endpoints that communicate with each other by exchanging data and signals. Think of the IoT as a robust network of working and moving parts that change their habits and functions based on information between sensors. The Internet of Things is transforming the way business processes are conducted from security and surveillance to telemedicine and healthcare (just to name a few). Read more of this post

“Budget Deal” is Progress, but Not an Appropriation

tim larkins small pic. 67x84by Tim Larkins, Director, Market Intelligence

As you may have heard, John Boehner is trying to push a fiscal agreement through Congress before his tenure as Speaker of the House is over.

While this is progress, it’s important to remember that this “budget deal” is not an appropriation – meaning it does not fund agencies in FY16.  The end result here would be similar to what we experienced in 2013 with the BBA (Bipartisan Budget Act) in that it will raise the debt ceiling through March of 2017 and it will lift spending caps (thereby avoiding sequestration) by roughly $50 billion in FY16 , $30 billion in FY17, and it will allow for an additional $32 billion in OCO (overseas contingency operations) funding between FY16 and FY17.  On a side note – the increase in allowance could be offset by cuts to Medicare, changes to the crop insurance program, and offsetting oil sales from the Petroleum Reserve, among other things.

But in order for this to have an impact, we still would need an appropriations package from Congress to fund the agencies.  If this deal passes (and assuming the President gets his wish in splitting the $50 billion this year equitably between DOD and Civilian agencies) it will be easier for lawmakers to work together to create an appropriations package (most likely in the form of an omnibus) by the time the continuing resolution (CR) expires in December. Read more of this post

Government to Improve IT Acquisition with Collaboration Tools

Collaboration_KSKevin Shaker_65 x 85by Kevin Shaker, Analyst, Market Intelligence

Lack of transparency and communication is one of the fundamental challenges facing government agencies. DOD struggles the most to communicate effectively between information silos. DOD CIO, Terry Halvorsen recently highlighted this problem as it pertains to the IT acquisition process. Halvorsen stated that too often federal contracting officers are not embedded in groups that deal directly with the programs they support. Therefore, purchase criteria is not always based on sound decisions — the government obtains goods and services that may not be well suited for certain agencies. Sometimes IT officials sitting in the room of acquisition deliberations is not enough — the government needs better alignment between product requirements development and acquisition professionals. Read more of this post


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