When will CYBERCOM Split from NSA?

As soon as Congress passed the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the clock began to tick on CYBERCOM’s elevation to a fully-fledged combatant command.

The NDAA included a clause that mandated CYBERCOM’s elevation to full COCOM status, although there are a few provisions that give us a clue as to when that may occur. Before CYBERCOM can be formally split from Strategic Command, it must reach full operating capability and Congress must approve of CYBERCOM’s readiness.

So what does that mean for the IT industry? With CYBERCOM’s rising and sizeable budget, there’s a lot of opportunity for cybersecurity vendors. But first it’s important to understand what needs to happen for CYBERCOM to split from STRATCOM.

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3 ways to be part of smart transportation

Rachel Eckert Rachel Eckert, SLED consultant

Transportation is increasingly becoming more connected as part of ongoing smart cities/states initiatives. States are connecting transit and working on multi-modal systems to facilitate easier and quicker commutes that efficiently move people and goods throughout a region.

This requires a great deal of data, compelling state and local governments to look to the private sector to develop technology that can collect, store, analyze and visualize that data. This information can then be turned into things like mobile applications that allow users to purchase tickets for buses and other transit through one streamlined application.

Here are three ways state and local governments could be utilizing this data:

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What you need to know about Army’s IT modernization strategy

By Stephanie Meloni, senior consultant

The Army views multi-domain operations as the future operating concept it needs to gain a competitive advantage against adversaries.

Despite the possibility of receiving increased funding under a new administration, the Army will largely be focused on readiness, as opposed to modernization. Readiness ensures that soldiers have proper training and equipment, while modernization would mean investing in new capabilities and technologies.

The good news for the IT industry is that multi-domain operations is a concept that addresses both modernization and readiness. And it will ultimately help the warfighter out-maneuver adversaries in land, cyber and intelligence. (You can hear more in my recent on-demand webinar on the Army’s IT Modernization Plan.)

Implementing multi-domain operations will entail significant changes to enterprise architecture and networking infrastructure to give the Army the flexibility it needs when it comes to configuration management and data sharing. This concept is all about data integration—and performing analysis on the data itself. Here are some ways the Army will be using its data to improve operations:

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3 trends to watch at the VA in 2017

As the only civilian agency with a new FY17 appropriation, the Department of Veterans Affairs would have been a high-profile sales target even without the attention paid to it on the campaign trail. However, between reorganizations, new programs and budgetary tug-of-war contests, it can be difficult to figure out where exactly you need to sell.

Here are three trends to watch in the next year as the administration’s priorities take shape. You can hear more on the department in my recent webinar, IT Sales Opportunities at the VA: Everything You Need to Know but Were Afraid to Ask:

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Where USDA Will Focus Its IT Spend in FY17

Kevin Shaker_65 x 85USDAwebinar_081816By Kevin Shaker, Analyst

Big data and analytics technology will be in hot demand at the Department of Agriculture (USDA) in FY17. Why? The U.S. agriculture industry is going through a major transition: Climate change is affecting temperate thresholds for certain crops, urban sprawl is spreading over potentially useful crop land, and farmers are battling consumer diet and income changes.

With so many variables, USDA CIO Jonathan Alboum has emphasized the absolute importance of big data and analytics, along with visualization technology in USDA’s IT structure.

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Consolidation Ain’t Just for Data Centers

mark-wisinger_65x85data centerBy Mark Wisinger, Analyst

The Department of Defense has a multitude of agencies with missions varying from missile defense to audit compliance. The challenge is noticing the subtle overall trends that permeate their IT priorities.

One word describes what the agencies are up to: Consolidation. It’s happening on several fronts, including procurement, the data center, and the application portfolio.

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New Data on How to Reach Government Customers

bphoto_Allan-Rubin_65x85y Allan Rubin, Vice President, Marketing

As today’s government shutdown clearly illustrates, it’s hard to get anything done when two parties are so far apart in their beliefs. Could the same communication breakdown be occurring between government marketers and our prospective customers?

At some point (hopefully soon), they’ll be back at their desks browsing the Web, opening our email on mobile devices, and maybe venturing out of the office once or twice a year to meet with industry face-to-face (assuming they’ve been given the proper hall pass). If we want to capture their attention, we have to follow their lead.

I was recently invited to review and comment on the results of an original research study by Market Connections and Boscobel Marketing Communications:

Connecting with Government Customers in an Era of Event and Travel Restrictions

The study identifies how government employees plan to obtain the information and training they used to receive from live events. Its aim is to give contractors current insights into their target customer base that will help them refocus their efforts to reach government prospects.

I’ve written extensively about the challenges we’ve encountered with live events over the past 18 months, and the study provides data that supports our concerns. It also gives recommendations on what to do about it.

An interesting part of the study highlights a potential gulf between the way we want to market to the government and how our customers want to find information. It’s summarized in the graphic below.

Different Opinions

This data held a few surprises for me:

  • It’s easy to see that contractors have shied away from print advertising in trade publications just from picking one up, but interesting that customers still rate them so highly;
  • Only 21 percent of contractors surveyed think government will get information and training online. Really? There’s this cool new thing called the Internet…
  • Apparently, we in the contracting community think prospects are much more interested in talking to us directly than they appear to be.

There are plenty of other nuggets in here that make it a worthwhile read. I hope you’ll check out the study!

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