What you need to know about the president’s budget…for now

By Chris Wiedemann, consultant

After a tumultuous opening to his administration, President Trump delivered his first budget request late last week, which seeks to deliver on long-running Republican promises to increase military spending while cutting non-defense agencies and programs significantly.

While the presidential budget request is not a binding document, meaning it still has to pass through Congress before it can be signed into law, the request is still useful for the priorities it outlines – in many ways, it’s the first attempt to put campaign promises and rhetoric into hard policy and guidelines for the executive branch.

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What government needs to do to speed up cyber defenses

Lloyd McCoy Jr.By Lloyd McCoy, DOD manager

Two cyber breaches at the Office of Personnel Management in 2015 prompted the federal government to move quickly to award $500 million worth of government-wide BPAs for identity monitoring and data breach response and protection services.

It begs the question of where that money was before the problem.

More problems like this are increasingly likely as we all rely on more IT infrastructures that may not be up to the challenge of increased use. Down the road, better coordination between tech vendors and buyers before the acquisition process will be able to stem the cyber tide. But what do we do in the meantime with what we have now?

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3 trends to watch at the VA in 2017

As the only civilian agency with a new FY17 appropriation, the Department of Veterans Affairs would have been a high-profile sales target even without the attention paid to it on the campaign trail. However, between reorganizations, new programs and budgetary tug-of-war contests, it can be difficult to figure out where exactly you need to sell.

Here are three trends to watch in the next year as the administration’s priorities take shape. You can hear more on the department in my recent webinar, IT Sales Opportunities at the VA: Everything You Need to Know but Were Afraid to Ask:

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SBA tech transformation underway, but more work needs to be done

By Kevin Shaker, senior analyst

When Maria Roat took the tech reins at the Small Business Administration last year, she promised to transition a large portion of the agency’s systems to the cloud. Things seem to be well underway, based on the chief information officer’s recent speech at the Citizen Engagement Summit hosted by FCW.

While SBA has made great strides since Roat, the former chief technology officer at the Department of Transportation, took over, tech companies still have opportunities to shape the future of IT at the SBA.

So far the agency has rebuilt SBA.gov’s interface, making it easier for small business owners to apply for loans and giving them easier access to loan processes and information. The website is also now mobile, giving internal and external customers more flexibility in how they use SBA’s services, which is a nice victory for Roat’s new leadership.

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Can collaboration save us from cyber attacks?

By Tim Larkins, director of Market Intelligence

By 2020, businesses will experience $3 trillion in economic loss due to cyber attacks globally. Seventy-four percent of the world’s businesses expect to be hacked this year. If that’s not a crisis, I don’t know what is.

If you were one of 45,000 people who attended the RSA conference last month in San Francisco, you likely picked up on a few common themes related to this cyber crisis. Thought leaders and industry experts seemed to agree that we need more collaboration between companies, governments and associations in developing standards, policies and regulations for both cybersecurity and the internet of things.  We need more threat intelligence sharing, and some even advocated for creating an entire government agency dedicated to cybersecurity and IoT.

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DOD and IoT: 2 ways industry can help right now

Stephanie Meloni_65x85By Stephanie Meloni, consultant

If you’ve been attending industry events and keeping up with the news, you’ve surely been hearing buzz about the internet of things (IoT).

And if the DOD is part of your sales territory, you’re probably hearing how important it is to get IoT right, particularly when it comes to securing connected devices. But there hasn’t been a lot of action behind those words.

Many civilian agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Commerce have already released strategic documents and plans for IoT, but the Department of Defense has yet to release an official strategy.

Even so, government customers across DOD are giving thought as to how to handle IoT, and in some ways, are already implementing projects. So how can technology companies get involved as this trend continues to pick up steam?

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Will cloud finally take off for state & local?

Rachel EckertBy Rachel Eckert, SLED consultant

Doesn’t it seem like every year is declared the year of cloud? But 2017 could actually kick off some serious cloud adoption in state and local governments for the next few years.

The state of Utah recently awarded master agreements to a variety of companies, including immixGroup, to provide cloud solutions through the NASPO ValuePoint multi-state cooperative procurement program. The master agreements are available to all 50 states and cover a full range of cloud solutions.

The contract has the potential to spur significant cloud adoption within states and localities, especially those with smaller budgets or where cloud initiatives haven’t moved as quickly. A few factors are already setting up the contract for success.

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