DOD Trends You’ll Hear at Summit

Lloyd McCoy Jr.blog-dod-briefings-final

By Lloyd McCoy Jr., DOD Manager

immixGroup’s Third Annual Government IT Sales Summit is just over a month away and the timing for the budget briefings we’ll be delivering at the event couldn’t be better.

No doubt disruptive technologies and policy changes have been shifting agency priorities. How will those trends continue to guide how agencies spend their IT budgets? What kind of role will a new administration—be it Clinton or Trump—influence government tech priorities?

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Market Intelligence Cloud Briefing: Tech Trends and Federal Opportunities

CloudChris Wiedemannby Chris Wiedemann, Senior Analyst

The federal government’s “Cloud First” policy, originally part of Vivek Kundra’s 25-Point Plan, is almost five years old – and yet there’s still plenty of confusion and uncertainty surrounding federal cloud adoption. What are the major challenges facing customers moving into the cloud? How much progress has been made on the commonly-cited challenges of security, data ownership, and elastic procurement within the confines of federal acquisition regulations? How will new policy and regulatory developments affect federal cloud business, and what do industry cloud providers need to know to begin marketing their services?

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Automation Tech Creating Opportunities at USDA

Kevin Shaker_65 x 85by Kevin Shaker, AnalystUSDA-farm

Automation technology could help the Department of Agriculture (USDA) analyze and track farmers’ crop sizes, costs and loan applications. But for now, the agency is relying on good ol’ pen and paper for many of these functions. However, things are changing. Streamlining USDA’s systems and operations is now a major priority, with the USDA Office of the Chief Information Officer listing information technology optimization as a key objective through FY18.

This is why we’re seeing automation activity coming out of many of the department’s sub agencies. At USDA, not every agency relies on the same IT capabilities that are distributed from the HQ’s OCIO. To some extent the department is decentralized, with many of its agencies containing their own IT groups with mission-specific legacy applications and systems.

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Three Key Takeaways from the President’s FY17 Budget Request

US Flag, Capitol Building and MoneyAlthough it probably feels like FY16 just arrived (in part because, well, it did just arrive), industry received a timely reminder this week via the President’s FY17 budget request that now is the time to start thinking long-term.

While it’s tempting to overlook this request — since it’s the last one made under the current administration — those of us in the IT community should pay close attention to the IT-specific sections of this request. There’s a lot in the request that has bipartisan appeal, and one proposal in particular could up end most of what we currently know about selling IT to the government.

Here are three key points from the President’s FY17 budget request you should know:

  1. A $3.1 billion multi-year fund for IT modernization is in the works
    This is the greatest departure from current practice, and if implemented, could dramatically affect the way government buys IT. This fund would be carried forward by reinvesting long-term savings on maintenance spend — so it would both free up and incentivize federal customers to invest in innovative technology and finally, combat the rise of steady state expenditure (which makes up more than 70% of the FY17 IT request).

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Movement to Make America’s Parks a Wi-Fi Paradise

NationalParkWifi_KSKevin Shaker_65 x 85by Analyst, Kevin Shaker

In the last few months we’ve seen a large push to make Wi-Fi available at parks across the country. Last week, a group of legislators wrote a letter to the President requesting deeper network connectivity and mobility across America’s 409 national parks. Currently, many of the country’s national parks have spotty reception at best.

The new National Park Service (NPS) networking hardware and the addition of Wi-Fi would not only improve visitor experience, it would make employees more effective. For example, Wi-Fi- enabled tools would allow trail rangers and tourist guides to better identify and communicate hazard positions and wildlife movements.

Early this year, NPS launched a “Go Digital” campaign, using the hashtag #NationalParks so visitors can share their wild life experiences through their mobile devices. Wi-Fi-equipped parks are becoming a hot topic and if you’re a router or network provider, you’ll want to pay attention to the President’s budget — scheduled to come out on February 9th. NPS officials have already started conversations on running a $34 million fiber-optic line from Grand Teton National Park into Yellowstone via CenturyLink. This line would create better connectivity for communication. You’ll want to reach out to the NPS Information Resources Directorate, which can be seen as the end-user implementation group as well as the Department of the Interior’s CIO IT Shared Services group.

The National Park Service isn’t the only group that might be expanding its Wi-Fi and mobile capabilities in the foreseeable future. The letter to the President comes shortly after the City of San Francisco finished installing Wi-Fi equipment at more than 30 city parks. Other cities such as New Orleans and New York City have already begun offering Wi-Fi areas within their parks as well. Parks across the country are inevitably becoming connected and if you offer network and mobile capabilities, you’ll want to become part of this exciting movement.

Need help identifying top infrastructure IT decision makers and opportunities within the Department of the Interior and state and local governments? Contact immixGroup’s industry-leading Market Intelligence team today to learn about specific programs and contacts that have a pressing need for your IT solution.

Survival Tips for DOT’s IT Spending Freeze

IT Freeze_KSKevin Shaker_65 x 85by Kevin Shaker, Analyst, Market Intelligence

The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) is no longer a work in progress, it’s a full-blown reality. FITARA is leading the charge in some real IT reform — particularly at the Department of Transportation (DOT) —  as it currently assesses its IT budgets and plans. In case you didn’t know, FITARA puts more budget formulation and IT operational control into the hands of the CIO. DOT’s CIO, Richard McKinney, isn’t missing out on the opportunity to take advantage of his new role. 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

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