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.

One Year Out of DISA’s Reorg – Five C’s Still Shaping IT Priorities Part II

DISA_220x100Lloyd McCoy Jr.by DOD Manager, Lloyd McCoy

Building on last week’s blog post — which focused on DISA’s Five C’s that continue to play large role in shaping their IT Priorities — lets now turn to the two offices that serve as the focal point for IT investments and programs within DISA: The Development and Business Center (led by Alfred Rivera) and The Implementation and Sustainment Center (led by David Bennett). I’ll also explore some of the directorates tied to each office, which underpin programs and contract opportunities.

1. DEVELOPMENT AND BUSINESS CENTER

The Development and Business Center (DBC) is where DISA determines their approach to developing and deploying new technologies and capabilities, under the framework of the Five C’s mentioned earlier. Industry engagement and demands from the rest of DOD influence their procurement decisions. This Center should be your first stopping point if you want to get your solutions inducted into DISA. Within the DBC are two directorates which control the vast majority of the top programs and contract opportunities within this organization: Services Development (SD) and Infrastructure Development Directorates (ID). Read more of this post

New FedRAMP Initiatives Driving Cloud Adoption in DOD

FedRamp_SMStephanie Meloni_65x85by Stephanie Meloni, Senior Analyst

Matt Goodrich, the director of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) at GSA, recently published a blog outlining some big changes ahead in the mandated cloud security certification program. The changes center around accelerating authorization time so users can capitalize on the speed of building systems using cloud capabilities.

These technology enhancements will create a publicly available dashboard, demonstrating how agencies are using the cloud. Additionally, changes include finalizing requirements for high impact security systems so Cloud Services Providers (CSPs) can start working with data and applications at higher security classifications. All of these efforts are aimed at making FedRAMP scalable and increasing cloud adoption at government agencies. Read more of this post

One Year Out of DISA’s Reorg – Five C’s Still Shaping IT Priorities Part I

DISA_220x100Lloyd McCoy Jr.by Lloyd McCoy Jr., DOD Manager

We’re a year removed from DISA’s reorganization — a restructuring largely aimed at giving the agency the flexibility and responsiveness it needs to effectively engage with industry and its primary customer: the Department of Defense (DOD). No different than before, DISA’s IT priorities are shaped by what they call the “five c’s”: cybersecurity, cloud, collaboration, and C2 (command and control). These priorities are influenced by the Joint Information Environment’s (JIE) emphasis on infrastructure consolidation, information sharing, and shared services.

Here’s what you need to know about the five c’s and the opportunities they bring to IT vendors:

  1. Cybersecurity
    DISA’s goal is to remove vulnerability from DOD’s network. The agency is heavily invested in bringing situational awareness to network defenders, through consolidating security stacks, marrying together big data, analytics and cybersecurity, and investing in tools to secure DOD’s network. If a breach does occur, DISA is looking for solutions that will limit the lateral movement of attackers within the network. Cybersecurity vendors should note that DISA is also looking to inject more automation in security and have specifically called out automated compliance, scanning and monitoring as areas where they want to improve. Read more of this post

Virginia Becoming a Hot Bed for Cybersecurity

HotBed_RERachel Eckertby Rachel Eckert, Senior Analyst

It’s that time of the year when Governors make their “State-of-the-State” speeches to legislatures, outlining their priorities for the upcoming year. Virginia was no different with Governor McAuliffe identifying plans that could position Virginia as the “Silicon Valley” for cybersecurity — providing great opportunities for technology companies in the commonwealth.

Governor McAuliffe announced that Virginia won a competition among 46 other states, and was selected to be the host for the U.S. Air Force’s new Cyber Operation Squadron at Langley Air Force Base — set to be operational in 2017. This move will surely boost the economy and create more jobs in the area. Virginia is also home to the new VISA state-of-the-art cyber fusion center in Ashburn that will provide threat detection and command and control operations for VISA’s payment network. All of these support Governor McAuliffe’s goal to become a cybersecurity powerhouse. Read more of this post

Riding the Wave of IT Procurement Consolidation in DOD

dv131001Mark Wisingerby Mark Wisinger, Analyst

For the past few years, the term “consolidation” has become synonymous with data center consolidation — a major initiative across public sector. The federal government’s objective in data center consolidation is clear: minimize spending and do more with less.

While data center consolidation has taken limelight for some time now, procurement consolidation is becoming a widespread initiative as it focuses on efficient spending. Let’s take a look at how DOD’s procurement consolidation impacts the bottom line of technology companies that do business with the government, and how you can ride “the wave of IT procurement consolidation.” Read more of this post

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

The Latest Info Sharing Legislation: 3 Things IT Vendors Should Know

CyberLegistlation_LM

Lloyd McCoy Jr.by DOD Manager, Lloyd McCoy Jr.

Earlier this month President Obama enacted a $1.1 trillion spending bill, preventing a 2015 government shutdown and increasing funding for most agencies in FY16. This spending bill combines what would have been a dozen pieces of legislation funding the government, into one all-encompassing law. As is often the case, this massive spending bill came with riders — none as impactful as cyber information sharing legislation — which is based on drafts of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be at the forefront of gathering and distributing cyber threat information with industry as well as leading the establishment of information sharing organizations. Read more of this post

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