Key Opportunities in Electronic Records Management

By Jessica Parks, Analyst

Good news for those who have been trying to sell solutions that facilitate digital government. A little over 2 months ago, OMB and the National Archives (NARA) issued memo M-19-21, informing federal agencies that they must manage all permanent and temporary records electronically by 2022. While this memo is not out of the blue – it was built upon the previous M-18-12 directive – it does lay out a specific timeline for agencies to follow.

Here are a couple of key technologies playing a role in the government’s transition to fully electronic records and how you can approach potential customers.

Automation
Automation will likely play a big part and may even free up agencies to explore emerging technologies such as AI. As agencies face a large volume of records to digitize and then manage, technology that reduces the amount of manual work will be a plus. For example, CMS recently implemented a robotic process automation-based tool to review medical records for Medicare payments. In combination with AI and ML algorithms, this tool has drastically reduced the time it takes to find the necessary data, from about one hour per document to just one minute. Read more of this post

Preparing for the Promise of 5G in the Federal Government

By Toné Mason, Senior Analyst

5G is here – still in its infancy, but here. The 5G that we hear about in day-to-day life is marketed for the general public: Faster phone service, quicker download times, seamless streaming. It’s a race to see which provider can get the service to your city first and which has the best new 5G-enabled phone.

The real promise of 5G, however, is the intelligence that it can enable and the lives that can be saved or enhanced by that intelligence. The biggest customer for intelligence enabled by 5G is, of course, the federal government. 5G can grow and reach its full potential through various applications in our government, heading ultimately towards real-time actionable information for virtually seamless decision-making.

Low latency and high bandwidth are the two most important things that are arriving with 5G. Low to near non-existent latency will allow for millisecond response times, reliable transmissions and multi-access edge computing. The increased bandwidth provided by 5G will be important in enhancing security measures and data encryption with minimal impact on network throughput speeds. Increased bandwidth also will lend itself to the further growth of the internet of things (IoT), allowing that technology to reach its full potential as well. Read more of this post

Fed and SLED IT Managers Are Buying Into AI

Tom O'Keefe

By Tom O’Keefe, Consultant

According to a recent study, 90% of public sector IT managers have observed a noticeable shift in the adoption of AI at their organizations over the last two years. The research report, “AI Is Out There: Early Adoption in Fed & SLED Agencies, ” explores government agencies’ interest in AI and seeks to understand current usage of AI technology in the public sector.

The study highlights IT managers’ and public sector leaders’ interest in gaining an edge by becoming early adopters of AI technology. Of surveyed respondents, 77% view AI as an asset to their organization’s ability to deliver on its mission, while 85% agree AI will be a game changer in how their agency thinks about and processes data. Some agencies have started to initiate AI pilot programs with 14% already reporting benefits from the technology. Currently, 61% of respondents report the use of at least one foundational AI technology such as voice assistants, high performance computing, and virtual customer assistance or chatbots. Read more of this post

5 Years Later and FITARA Remains Relevant

By Tara Franzonello, Contracts Manager

FITARA, also known as the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act, was enacted by Congress in December 2014 with an aim to reform government’s management and acquisition of IT. Although agencies have made progress over the last 5 years, there remain significant challenges in working toward FITARA compliance.

What does this mean for technology providers? Opportunity! Read more of this post

Arkansas CIO All In on Shared Services

By Rachel Eckert, SLED Manager

Arkansas has begun its digital transformation and is moving ever closer to a shared services model. Last month, Arkansas CIO Yessica Jones briefed the NASCIO Corporate Member Exchange on some of the recent changes in her state.

Probably the most impactful change was the re-organization following the passing of the Transformation and General Efficiencies Act during the past general legislative session. The act consolidated 42 departments into 15. Previously the Department of Information Systems, Arkansas’ central IT department reported directly to the governor, along with 41 other departments. Under the new structure, the Department of Information Systems has become a division under the Secretary for Transformation & Shared Services.

Jones believes that new department structure will improve IT project delivery, especially since all new secretaries have been tasked with identifying potential shared services opportunities. Several projects are already underway to deliver additional shared services to executive-branch agencies, including deploying enterprise-wide Microsoft Office 365, optimizing their data center, implementing mainframe as a service and several enterprise-wide agreements. Read more of this post

Agile Ops as a Path to Modernization

By Jessica Parks, Analyst

The word “agile” is everywhere now, describing everything from cloud technology to team dynamics. Beginning as an innovative method of software development, agile has expanded to describe projects, solutions, teams and workflows.

As government agencies look to update legacy systems, there is an increasing recognition that modernization encompasses not only updates in technology, but also improvements in how projects are developed and delivered. Here are examples of how federal agencies are applying the agile concept and how technology vendors can insert themselves in upcoming opportunities.

In the world of government IT, agile refers to a software development or project management method which aims to be faster, more customer-centric and more responsive to sudden changes than traditional methods. (If you want to further explore the basic premise of “agile,” GSA has published a comprehensive set of FAQs.) What is most noteworthy about the presence of agile development in government IT is that it represents a significant change in mindset. The government is realizing that efficiency, responsiveness and scalability are often the best ways to stay on top of rapid technological changes. Read more of this post

New Security Requirements Coming to DOD Acquisition in 2020

Lloyd McCoy Jr.Cyber security network concept. Master key connect virtual networking graphic and blur laptop with flare light effectBy Lloyd McCoy, Market Intelligence Manager

Starting next summer, anyone selling IT to the Department of Defense will need to be certified by the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) in order to compete for contracts.

The CMMC is a set of security standards that will start appearing in RFIs in June 2020 and will apply to all defense acquisitions by September. The CMMCs will represent security maturity levels and will have five levels, each with their associated security controls and processes. Level 1 will likely be like what we consider basic hygiene, with Level 5 describing the very best in security practices. The level needed will depend on the contract and will be used to determine whether a vendor makes the cut. Details on what each of the levels contain are scant right now but expect more information in the coming months as the Department collects public feedback. Read more of this post

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