5 DHS opportunities in the president’s proposed budget

Tom O'KeefeBy Tom O’Keefe, consultant

One of the few civilian agencies that likely won’t have its budget cut is the Department of Homeland Security. What’s less clear is exactly how the funding breaks down for DHS components.

The Trump administration’s plan to direct more funds to Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement by heavily reducing the budgets of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Transportation Security Administration are likely non-starters for congressional appropriators.

However, looking at the FY17 budget amendment and the FY18 budget request, we can get an idea of where some additional technology opportunities might appear at the department. The FY17 budget amendment requests $3 billion extra for DHS, with a third of that going to CBP to begin construction of the border wall. The FY18 “skinny” budget has a few more clues for where we might see increased investment at DHS:

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4 ways to show NASA some love

Tom O'Keefenasa_021417By Tom O’Keefe, consultant

The next few years could be interesting for NASA, especially if the Trump administration tries to take aim at its climate observation work. But that won’t necessarily stop the space agency from continuing to innovate, embrace new technologies and continue its move toward the cloud.

In fact, while there have been recent challenges within the agency, particularly concerning cybersecurity, expect NASA to continue its role as a standard-bearer for new technologies within the federal government.

So what does that mean for IT vendors? Well to understand how to appeal to NASA, it’s important to focus on how to better enable its science and engineering mission. Here are some areas to focus on:

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The government’s latest move to reel in spending on mobile

mobility_121416Tom O'KeefeBy Tom O’Keefe, consultant

Earlier this year, the federal government’s Mobile Services Category Team released a draft roadmap for how agencies and departments should be acquiring mobile devices and services. The plan will eventually be codified much like previous category management efforts to eliminate buying redundancies and save money.

The federal government has been trying to pull back the $1 billion agencies spend per year on mobile devices and service contracts. Several policies have been adopted to reduce unnecessary mobile devices and services spending and better position agencies for leveraging the government’s vast buying power. The Mobile Services Category Team’s draft roadmap is the next step in the government’s plan.

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New IoT Security Principles On the Way

Tom O'Keefeiot-security_blog090816By Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant

If you want to look for a growing area of investment in federal IT, look no further than securing the Internet of Things (IoT).

There’s been a lot of recent talk about the IoT, with one of the latest conversation led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at an August 31st workshop to help industry get a grasp on the roadmap the federal government is pursuing in the coming year. IoT leaders across federal agencies will outline strategic principles that will guide near-and-long term purchasing decisions in securing internet-connected devices.

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Top IT Opportunities at DOJ

Tom O'KeefeDOJ_071316By Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is involved in numerous projects to continue to refresh and update its IT portfolio, but there are three key technologies that DOJ continues to look toward: cloud, big data, and cybersecurity.

With an annual IT budget that has remained relatively flat at roughly $2.9 billion, DOJ is developing strategies to mitigate the cost of maintaining legacy systems. At the same, DOJ is reinventing itself and becoming a more modern, lean, and agile IT organization that can continue to deliver on its critical law enforcement and national security functions.

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DHS Wants to Hear from You

Tom O'KeefeDHS and industryBy Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant

Industry engagement seems to be the new focus at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as Luke McCormack, the chief information officer, and Soraya Correa, the chief procurement officer, have made it a point to ramp up outreach to the private sector. This summer looks to continue this trend of engagement with several activities and requests for information (RFI) that technology vendors will want to keep their eyes on.

First, the department has reached out to industry to gauge the viability of a DHS-specific contract for agile design and development. The RFI includes a draft scope of the proposed vehicle based on work done by the US Digital Services team in developing the Digital Services Playbook.

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DHS’s New Mobile App Playbook

Tom O'KeefeBy Tomas O’Keefe, Consultantmobile apps

Security is one of the biggest hurdles for mobility in government, but some recent work by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) might make this challenge a little less daunting for federal agencies.

DHS has been working on a mobile app playbook to help agencies develop secure mobile applications and follow a streamlined process to introduce those apps into agencies’ mobile environments. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s a riff on the federal CIO’s Digital Playbook, suggesting a baseline for mobile app development and appropriate milestones to ensure the final application isn’t riddled with errors.

DHS has been a pioneer in securing the mobile workspace for the last few years. You might be familiar with DHS’ Car Wash process, a continuous pen-testing and design-verifying security application that vets mobile apps as they’re developed. Car Wash is available to all federal agencies (and even private sector mobile app developers), and DHS is continuing the trend of advancing the security of mobile environments with the mobile app playbook.
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