Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Nate Vickery, Gopala Krishna Behara

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Government Cloud

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud-First Initiative Threatens Federal Systems Status Quo

There May Be Blood

Vivek Kundra, the CIO of the United States, is getting down to business on the "Cloud First" initiative that was announced by the OMB a few weeks back.  He's been showing a snappy slide deck around town in DC the past few days that will probably affect different people in very different ways.

Taxpayers should love it because it is a plan for saving money and improving efficiency throughout the government.  Commercial CIOs should learn from it, because it illustrates a practical and practicable approach to cloud computing.  And the freebooters and freeloaders of the "federal systems" fraternity should be very, very afraid of it because it says their back-scratching days may be numbered.

The presentation outlines a 25-point implementation plan to reform federal IT management in two areas: Achieving Operational Efficiency and Effectively Managing Large-Scale IT Programs.  The plan lays out 25 action items, each with one or more "owners" and a completion deadline from 6-18 months from now.

The 25 items are divided across six key goals and for each of them the presentation gives a representative case study.   A lot of the items are what you might expect but there are some real surprises, and the case studies do not pull any punches, as the following samples show.

Adopting "Light" Technology and Shared Services

Surprise Item: Create a government-wide marketplace for data center availability

Case Study: Dept. of Interior Infrastructure Consolidation

Issue: Despite spending billions of dollars, significant inefficiencies exist.

Before - Employees cannot send department-wide emails because of 13 fragmented email systems

After - Consolidated cloud-based email for 100% of users by Oct 2011 saving of $36M over 5 years

Strengthening Program Management

Surprise Item: Enable IT program manager mobility across government and industry

Case Study: National Flood Insurance Program

Issue: $40M spent over 7 years on a system that does not work

Before - NextGen system accepted without system design, requirements, and testing

After - NextGen project terminated, reduced budget by $23.8M

Aligning the Acquisition Process with the Technology Cycle

Surprise Item: Reduce barriers to entry for small innovative technology companies

Case Study: Veterans Benefits Modernization

Issue: Over a decade spent on modernizing a benefits processing system

Before- Multi-year "boil the ocean" contracts, 10 years of delivery with no functioning system

After - Agile, modular contracts, customer-facing deliverables every 6 months

Aligning the Budget Process with the Technology Cycle

Surprise Item: Work with Congress to consolidate Commodity IT spending under Agency CIO

Case Study: USPTO Patent File Wrapper Program

Issue: Failed to meet customer needs; halted for 2 years by PTO

Before - Examiners used 16 interfaces, up to 2 hours to open applications, no text search

After - One interface, near-instantaneous opening, full text search, $99.5M budget reduction

Streamlining Governance and Increasing Accountability

Surprise Item: Redefine role of Agency CIOs and Federal CIO Council

Case Study: HUD Transformation Initiatives

Issue: Undertaking multiple transformation projects without sufficient capacity or governenance

Before - 29 projects with many delays, missing controls and $310M budget

After - 7 projects with 6-month deliverables and $185.7M budget

Increasing Engagement with Industry

Surprise Items: Launch "myth-busters" education campaign and pre-RFP agency-industry collaboration

Case Study: FBI Biometric Identification Technology to Replace Legacy System

Issue: Complex project needs oversight to ensure justification and staying on track

Before - Next Gen functionality unclear, no legacy decommissioning plan

After - Project broken into smaller, 6-month phases, legacy system closed in 2015

From these highlights and the full presentation, taxpayer should see how Kundra's new regime is already yielding considerable financial and efficiency benefits and CIOs should see parallels with the challenges they are facing and best practices they can follow.

But the heavy message here is for the large technology vendors and service contractors and their well-courted customers in many federal agencies and administrative offices.  Kundra isn't putting it quite this way, but he clearly aims to crush the cabal that wastes money and time, stifles innovation, and excludes smaller, nimbler suppliers.  There's a new IT sheriff in DC and he means business.

More Stories By Tim Negris

Tim Negris is SVP, Marketing & Sales at Yottamine Analytics, a pioneering Big Data machine learning software company. He occasionally authors software industry news analysis and insights on Ulitzer.com, is a 25-year technology industry veteran with expertise in software development, database, networking, social media, cloud computing, mobile apps, analytics, and other enabling technologies.

He is recognized for ability to rapidly translate complex technical information and concepts into compelling, actionable knowledge. He is also widely credited with coining the term and co-developing the concept of the “Thin Client” computing model while working for Larry Ellison in the early days of Oracle.

Tim has also held a variety of executive and consulting roles in a numerous start-ups, and several established companies, including Sybase, Oracle, HP, Dell, and IBM. He is a frequent contributor to a number of publications and sites, focusing on technologies and their applications, and has written a number of advanced software applications for social media, video streaming, and music education.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve f...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
Blockchain is a shared, secure record of exchange that establishes trust, accountability and transparency across business networks. Supported by the Linux Foundation's open source, open-standards based Hyperledger Project, Blockchain has the potential to improve regulatory compliance, reduce cost as well as advance trade. Are you curious about how Blockchain is built for business? In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, discussed the b...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
As you move to the cloud, your network should be efficient, secure, and easy to manage. An enterprise adopting a hybrid or public cloud needs systems and tools that provide: Agility: ability to deliver applications and services faster, even in complex hybrid environments Easier manageability: enable reliable connectivity with complete oversight as the data center network evolves Greater efficiency: eliminate wasted effort while reducing errors and optimize asset utilization Security: imple...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
The 22nd International Cloud Expo | 1st DXWorld Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, to be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, brings together Cloud Computing, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, described how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launching ...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...