How Can Technology Tackle the Lengthy Immigration Process?

By Kevin Shaker, consultant

The United States Digital Service (USDS), founded in 2014 to provide innovative ideas to agencies around IT modernization, is aggressively attempting to streamline the immigration process by implementing electronic forms and doing away with paper-based applications. The goal is to shorten the lengthy process immigrants endure when applying for citizenship and make it less burdensome on government employees as they process immigration and green card applications.

USDS is now working with United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), the DHS agency that handles immigration and naturalization, to reform their application analysis process. The USDS team working on the project is more focused on developing technologies for IT and operations process redesign than pushing immigration policy through Congress. Their goal is to also collaborate with agency higher ups and end users to design and create automated systems that alleviate redundancy.

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Transformation May Be Your Foot in the Door for Federal Sales

By Kevin Shaker, consultant

If you have genuinely transformational technology, public sector IT executives may be willing to listen now more than ever.

In August, public and private sector officials held a series of short discussions on government IT and procurement, emphasizing innovation in everything from protecting critical assets to reforming acquisition methods.

Here are three top takeaways

GSA Schedules

Alan Thomas, commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service, said plans are being discussed to consolidate schedules for easier acquisition.

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Agencies Starting to Embrace New Telecom Contract

By Kevin Shaker, consultant

In August 2017, the GSA awarded the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract to 10 companies that will provide systems integration work to civilian agencies to update telecommunications infrastructures with modernized next generation networks. The EIS contract replaces the current Networx contact, which expires in FY20. While most agencies are ramping up to use EIS and send out solicitations for telecom projects, the Treasury Department and the Social Security Administration seem to be ahead of the curve.

Iris Cooper, senior procurement executive at Treasury released a statement at the ACT-IAC Network Modernization Forum on June 19, affirming that the department is looking to move forward with EIS and was expected to release its first task order solicitation in early July. Eric Olson, who replaced Sonny Bhagowalia as the Chief Information Officer at the department, will be overseeing this solicitation. In a departure from standard procedure, the contract will not be managed by a contracting officer. Therefore, having his buy-in, along with the blessing of the prime contractor, will be crucial for getting your solution in the door.

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Artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and beyond

artificial intelligence, government, securityBy Kevin Shaker, senior analyst

Artificial intelligence has been making headway in the IT sector with a focus on cybersecurity. Spending on AI and machine learning, which helps make AI possible, will grow from $12 billion in 2017 to $57.6 billion by 2021, according to IDC.

And it’s starting to get the attention of federal, state and local government IT personnel who see it as a way to increase and optimize automation for enhanced judgment and cost reduction.

The largest opportunity for AI is cybersecurity. Government agencies spend significant resources and people hours adapting to cyber threats while hacker technology becomes even more persistent and evolving. This is the wild west with cybersecurity and the trick is to stay one step ahead of malware, spyware and viruses that aim to corrupt and compromise sensitive processes and data.

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Cloud opportunities to pursue right now at CBP

cloud, IT, migrationBy Kevin Shaker, senior analyst

In recent years, cloud services and cloud migration opportunities have become a large IT push for agencies that want to lower their hardware costs and hire more skilled workers across the civilian landscape. Larger agencies by nature take longer to meet cloud progress milestones due to their robust infrastructure and trickier siloed mission systems and applications.

One civilian agency starting its cloud journey is within the Department of Homeland Security, the largest funded sub-agency. U.S. Customs and Border Protection wants to push a large portion of its IT to the cloud.

On February 28, CBP released an RFI that asks for help migrating its applications out of its Office of Information Technology’s National Data Center in Springfield, Va., to cloud services. The RFI submissions are due by April 16, which means there is still time to get involved if you have cloud implementation technology.

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How to help government with its biggest cloud hurdles

cloud, IT, governmentBy Kevin Shaker, senior analyst

Cloud infrastructure is growing rapidly in the public sector, with a compound growth rate exceeding 29 percent. This is a trend that will continue as government accelerates its breadth of technological viability to match the innovative private sector.

While most agencies’ IT leaders have said cloud architecture is vital to mission success, there are difficulties in determining how this technology should be managed and which applications can be migrated and to which cloud environments.

We delved into this issue at immixGroup’s recent Government IT Sales Summit where industry and federal leaders discussed the challenges and advantages of federal cloud migration and routes to accelerate agency transformation.

Here are some of the concerns and recommendations:

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IoT snapshot: the potential and the risks

By Kevin Shaker, senior analyst

During immixGroup’s 4th annual Government IT Sales Summit, government and industry IT leaders addressed what’s under the IoT umbrella and how public sector enterprises are using these tools now.

Here are some highlights of the IoT snapshot: The potential and the risks panel:

Where in this ecosystem should our partners and suppliers spend most of their time to bring the most value to their customers?

If you look at IT versus IoT, the world of IT was clients and servers. The client was relatively smart ­– your phones, tablets, PCs – so it balanced the IT issue between the client and the server. Now that we’re progressing into more IoT, the challenge is that the endpoint node is going to be really dumb; it’s not going to have a lot of processing power or memory. We end up with this new thing called a gateway, and that gateway is where we’ll control nodes, processing and the edge compute work, and this is the new platform from which IoT will work on.

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