What’s New This Week:
There’s No Business Like Cloud Business
It has been more than a week since President Donald Trump signed a spending bill that provides full-year appropriations for federal agencies. But even with the prospect of another partial government shutdown behind us, tensions remain high over U.S.-Mexico border wall funding.
President Trump’s national emergency declaration would allow him to move nearly $7 billion from various military programs and other federal funds to pay for wall construction. Now Democrats are pushing back with a resolution that would terminate the national emergency, if passed by the Senate. However, Trump has sworn to veto it.
But the never-ending fight over funding isn’t stopping federal agencies from carrying on with their tech plans. They are constantly seeking ways to become more efficient. Take the Department of Homeland Security, which wants to overhaul its data centers and move to the cloud.
On Feb. 19, DHS released a request for information seeking industry advice on how to consolidate its two main data centers and develop a cloud-based infrastructure. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has allocated $10 billion to cloud computing, but the JEDI cloud contract keeps running into road blocks because of its single-vendor approach.
Last week, the Defense Department found new evidence of a possible conflict of interest in the bidding process. As a result, a federal judge delayed Oracle’s JEDI lawsuit while the Pentagon investigates.
Although the scope of DHS’s cloud strategy may resemble the Pentagon’s, the two approaches are very different, according to BGOV’s Chris Cornillie. For example, DHS plans to use multiple vendors and hybrid systems. Cornillie explains more in this week’s exclusive story.
Moving agencies to the cloud is a top priority for the federal government, which has awarded almost $60 million to four cloud projects through the Technology Modernization Fund. The fund was created to support critical IT modernization efforts, but the flow of money has been slow.
Only the Department of Housing and Urban Development has tapped into its cloud funding so far, according to one report.
There’s more news beyond the cloud, so keep reading!
DataWorks Summit: Ideas. Insights. Innovation.
DataWorks Summit Washington, DC promises to be the most valuable big data community event for the public sector of the year. We’ve selected 10 breakout sessions that will show you the latest in technology and how others are applying it to achieve mission critical breakthroughs. As an attendee, you’ll hear relevant stories from the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization, Johns Hopkins University, University of Southern California, DOE Joint Genome Institute, The Ohio State University, and more. Register today.
“Not only would [DHS’s enterprise cloud strategy] be one of the government’s largest cloud computing contracts to date, but it would also provide a road map that differs from DOD’s JEDI strategy, showing how a large agency can execute an enterprise-scale digital transformation.”
—Chris Cornillie, federal market analyst with Bloomberg Government
Read more in this week’s exclusive from Bloomberg Government.
Early Results Are In for VA.gov Relaunch
In the three months since the Veterans Affairs Department relaunched VA.gov, customer satisfaction with the redesigned website has gone up 20 percent. Veterans’ health-care applications filed online increased by 50 percent. Read more.
It’s Time to Manage Documents Electronically
The National Archives and Records Administration will accept only electronic records from agencies after Dec. 31, 2022. In preparation for the deadline, agencies should start working toward “large-scale digitization” of their documents, according to NARA’s David Miller. Read more.
Strategy & Leadership
CIO Shuffle: Two Agencies Get New Leaders
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has appointed Henry “Jamie” Holcombe as its new CIO, replacing John Owens, who left in November 2017. And the U.S. International Trade Commission filled its CIO position with an internal candidate, Keith Vaughn. Read more.
OPM Wants to See ‘Modern Workforce’ Progress
The Office of Personnel Management issued a memo asking agencies to prepare for the upcoming Human Capital Review, a new data-based audit that tracks agencies’ progress on personnel initiatives. Technology and reskilling the federal workforce are a big part of it. Read more.
Identify Opportunities Arising From Cloud Adoption
Join BGOV for a free webinar to track the federal government’s spending and progress on adopting cloud technologies. Hear how cloud services open up a host of possibilities for streamlining security procedures and simplifying acquisition processes, and learn what hurdles agencies still face in the journey to the cloud.
Click here to view our speaker lineup, agenda- and to register.
This free 60-minute webinar will cover:
- Measuring progress on cloud adoption
- Assessing what’s left for agencies to achieve
- Evaluating opportunities for innovation through cloud services
- Preparing teams for systemic change
This webinar is the first in a series of connected Technocrat programming.
This presentation is sponsored by Cloudera.
Eye on Security
Cyber Command Has Big Tech Plans This Year
In 2019, the U.S. Cyber Command plans to spend as much as $75 million to arm its cybersecurity forces with essential tech. But instead of borrowing equipment from the National Security Agency as it has in the past, the Cyber Command wants to develop its own tools. Read more.
FDIC Faces Cyber Oversight Challenges
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has fallen short in conducting effective cybersecurity oversight of banks and establishing strong internal information security policies, according to a new inspector general report on top challenges for the agency. Read more.
Army Explores Virtual Health Capabilities
There is a new office within the Army that’s tasked with finding ways of deploying virtual health technologies on the battlefield. The Virtual Health Research Task Area is looking for solutions that can blend “traditional point of injury health care delivery” with innovative tech. Read more.
Blockchain in Transportation Gets Funding
Attention small businesses with expertise in emerging technology applications, including automation and blockchain: The Department of Transportation needs you. DOT just opened a solicitation for its research program with contracts valued at $150,000 to $2 million. Read more.
Read more editions of Technocrat