A memorandum issued by Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan establishes an initiative to move many DoD IT systems to the cloud, a move that members of industry are applauding for its potential to open the department to faster innovation. […]

The Internet of Things has spawned many changes within the Federal government, including new methods of data collection at the Department of Agriculture (USDA), new policy considerations at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and a realignment of the Office of the CIO (OCIO) at the Department of Commerce.






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Though officials working on the Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program have been aware of the importance of cloud from the beginning, Phase 3 of the program will shift to include cloud concerns, according to Kevin Cox, CDM program manager at the Department of Homeland Security.






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The problem with IT modernization is often a people problem. “There’s a cultural challenge within the IT community,” said Department of Homeland Security Acting CIO Stephen Rice, at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference on Sept. 13. “Changes aren’t just within the technology but also within the culture of those managing the technology.”






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Creating one cloud architecture for the civilian agencies will make it easier for hackers, according to Beth Dunphy, program director of cybersecurity technologies at IBM. The White House’s recent IT Modernization Report calls for the Federal government to invest in two to three cloud models to support the different agencies. “At the end of the day it’s just going to make it easier to repeat the attacks from the attackers,” Dunphy said at the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference on Sept. 12.






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The Federal Cloud Center of Excellence’s draft C.A.S.T.L.E guide on cloud acquisition aligns well with the White House’s IT Modernization Report. “The IT Modernization Report is focused on accelerating the move toward the cloud from an overall strategy and policy perspective and we’re here to support its cloud adoption goals,” said Syed Azeem, senior IT project manager for the Department of Labor, and outreach and advocacy lead within the CCOE. “Where we come in is providing the hands-on implementation level guidance as part of the C.A.S.T.L.E guide and other deliverables the CCOE is working on.”






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The National Archives and Records Administration’s strategic plan for 2018-2022 includes digitizing 500 million pages of records by 2020. NARA would make the records available to the public online through the National Archives Catalog. NARA also will stop accepting analog records from agencies by Dec. 31, 2022, and will accept records only in electronic format and with the appropriate metadata.






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For the Navy to gain the most insights from its operational pause day, fleets could use data analytics to make faster, more informed decisions. Adm. John Richardson, chief of naval operations, ordered an operational pause across the U.S. Navy, following the collision of the USS John S. McCain with an oil tanker near Singapore. Each fleet is tasked with taking one day off, as they see fit, to look into “operational tempo, performance, maintenance, equipment, and personnel.”






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The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials tapped IBM to bring Watson into their software. APCO recently announced that APCO International’s new guide card software called APCO IntelliCommä will use IBM Watson Speech-to-Text and Watson Analytics to improve the scripts used by 911 operators.






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The majority of Federal agencies are embracing converged infrastructure for their data center needs, and seeing improvements, according to a new MeriTalk report. “It amazes me that 72 percent of Federal IT managers are already stating that converged will become the central housing mechanism for their data center needs,” said Milo Speranzo at Tech Data. “That number is only going to increase and that increase will happen rapidly and in the near future.”






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The Federal Communications Commission announced Aug. 3 that it’s exploring ways to improve the quality of the data it collects on broadband service. The FCC released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to seek comment on proposals to collect better data. The FCC in 2000 established its deployment data collection program, which requires Internet providers to file the information with the FCC twice a year.






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In order for Federal agencies to make the best decisions about moving to the cloud, they have to optimize their data centers, according to IDC researchers. The Federal government is moving to a cloud-first approach when it comes to IT infrastructure, which makes CIOs reluctant to invest in a Data Center Infrastructure Management solution to optimize their data centers to meet Data Center Optimization Initiative requirements.






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The Department of Defense is following the Federal push to move toward an enterprise structure by using Defense Enterprise Office Solution (DEOS), an effort by the Defense Information Systems Agency to acquire Software-as-a-Service at a DoD enterprise scale. DoD plans to move 4.5 million users to the cloud, using this approach.






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Data analytics professionals in the Federal government advised new data analytics teams to earn credibility in their agencies by finding a real-life problem and fixing it. “Pick someone in the C-suite that has a solvable problem and go do it,” said Kevin Garrison, chief of analytics at the Department of Defense, at MeriTalk’s big data webinar.






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The best way for agencies to begin their transition to the cloud is to talk to agencies that have been through the same experience. “It’s always good to talk to people who have gone through it,” said Craig McCullough, vice president of Commvault Federal.






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Lawmakers should ensure law enforcement agencies can gain lawful access to information to protect their citizens and uphold U.S. laws, but without putting companies and workers at a disadvantage, according to a report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.






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