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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New Name, New Vision for DHS’ NPPD

Innovation concept, consultant in management doing presentationTom O'Keefeby Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant

The Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) finally has a new name and vision: the Cyber and Infrastructure Protection Agency (CIPA). Congress still has to approve the plans before NPPD can formally roll out its new name, but DHS leadership isn’t wasting any time.

Executives are full speed ahead implementing the new vision and responsibilities for NPPD stated in the President’s FY17 budget request. Part of this new vision includes continued expansion of the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) vehicle and making more investments in big data to support information gathered by cyber defense technologies. Read more of this post

DHS Championing Innovation in Silicon Valley

ThinkstockPhotos-465821896Tom O'Keefeby Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant

Last spring, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) opened up its Silicon Valley Office (SVO) under the Directorate for Science and Technology (S&T), having high hopes of better engaging with technology innovators in Silicon Valley. DHS wants to build bridges with the startup community so that new technologies — particularly cybersecurity technologies — can be readily identified and selected to help defend public and private networks.

The office uses innovative contracting methods that speed up the acquisition process, involving Broad Agency Announcements and leveraging short-term technology contracts to get the latest and greatest tools in the hands of federal cybersecurity professionals. 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?

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New Funding Tied to Obama’s Smart Cities Initiative

SmartCity_TOTom O'Keefeby Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant

On September 14th, President Obama announced his Smart Cities initiative that would dedicate over $160M in federal research and development funding to technology solutions designed to help communities “reduce traffic congestion, fight crime, foster economic growth, manage the effects of a changing climate, and improve delivery of city services.”

Most of this money will fund projects at the federal level, which will then trickle down to state, local, and education municipalities. Technology companies can piggyback on these projects by identifying states and localities primed for newer technology innovations. Read more of this post

The Low Down on the New National Strategic Computing Initiative

Tom O'Keefe by Tomas O’Keefe, Consultant

On The Low Down on the New National Strategic Computing InitiativeJuly 29th, President Obama released a new executive order entitled: “Creating a National Strategic Computing Initiative.” This executive order seeks “to maximize benefits of high-performance computing (HPC) research, development, and deployment” for the benefit of not only federal departments but also economic competitiveness and scientific discovery in the United States. The order establishes the National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI), an effort to create a cross-agency development strategy for HPC and a way to leverage budget among a multitude of agencies to further scientific success and promote exascale computing.

These are the top five objectives of the National Strategic Computing Initiative:

  1. Accelerating delivery of a capable exascale computing system
  2. Establishing a roadmap for future HPC systems
  3. Developing an enduring public-private collaboration
  4. Increasing coherence between modeling and simulation and data analytic computing technologies
  5. Addressing HPC challenges in networking technology, workflow, downward scaling, foundational algorithms and software, accessibility, and workforce development

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