Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Larry Alton, Pat Romanski, Patrick Hubbard

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
Cloud-based disaster recovery is critical to any production environment and is a high priority for many enterprise organizations today. Nearly 40% of organizations have had to execute their BCDR plan due to a service disruption in the past two years. Zerto on IBM Cloud offer VMware and Microsoft customers simple, automated recovery of on-premise VMware and Microsoft workloads to IBM Cloud data centers.
Why Federal cloud? What is in Federal Clouds and integrations? This session will identify the process and the FedRAMP initiative. But is it sufficient? What is the remedy for keeping abreast of cutting-edge technology? In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rasananda Behera will examine the proposed solutions: Private or public or hybrid cloud Responsible governing bodies How can we accomplish?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Daiya Industry specializes in orthotic support systems and assistive devices with pneumatic artificial muscles in order to contribute to an extended healthy life expectancy. For more information, please visit https://www.daiyak...
Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
The last two years has seen discussions about cloud computing evolve from the public / private / hybrid split to the reality that most enterprises will be creating a complex, multi-cloud strategy. Companies are wary of committing all of their resources to a single cloud, and instead are choosing to spread the risk – and the benefits – of cloud computing across multiple providers and internal infrastructures, as they follow their business needs. Will this approach be successful? How large is the ...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Greg Gorman is the Director, IoT Developer Ecosystem, Watson IoT, will provide a short tutorial on Node-RED, a Node.js-based programming tool for wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services in new and interesting ways. It provides a browser-based editor that makes it easy to wire together flows using a wide range of nodes in the palette that can be deployed to its runtime in a single-click. There is a large library of contributed nodes that help so...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Many organizations adopt DevOps to reduce cycle times and deliver software faster; some take on DevOps to drive higher quality and better end-user experience; others look to DevOps for a clearer line-of-sight to customers to drive better business impacts. In truth, these three foundations go together. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 21st Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, industry experts will discuss how leading organizations build application success from all...
Most of the time there is a lot of work involved to move to the cloud, and most of that isn't really related to AWS or Azure or Google Cloud. Before we talk about public cloud vendors and DevOps tools, there are usually several technical and non-technical challenges that are connected to it and that every company needs to solve to move to the cloud. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Stefano Bellasio, CEO and founder of Cloud Academy Inc., will discuss what the tools, disciplines, and cultural...
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 ...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
SYS-CON Events announced today that App2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. App2Cloud is an online Platform, specializing in migrating legacy applications to any Cloud Providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud).
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a mu...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
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...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
Trying to improve density, lower costs and run applications faster than before? Today, enterprises looking for a secure cloud strategy are increasingly turning to container-based Platform as a Service solutions for on-premises hosted DevOps. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alise Cashman Spence, Offering Manager, Power Systems Cloud Solutions at IBM, will discuss the driving factors behind these cloud trends and how IBM customers are realizing exceptional performance, security and control for ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.