Government IT leaders may feel a little punch drunk lately. Between new mandates, an understaffed workforce, and aging systems–they are getting hit from all angles. Indeed, Chad Sheridan, CIO for USDA’s Risk Management Agency kicked off his keynote at last Thursday’s Veritas Public Sector Vision Day in Washington, D.C. by quoting Mike Tyson: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”






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Another important piece of the emerging Federal IT modernization ecosystem is in place now that the General Services Administration (GSA) has given four companies the greenlight to start work on the first of five IT Modernization Centers of Excellence (CoEs).






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Acronyms abound with a seemingly endless stream of Federal IT regulations and guidelines related to cloud and cyber security. Trying to make sense of the madness? On March 8, at “Cyber Convergence: Security, the Cloud and Your Data,” Federal visionaries will crack the code on some of the most critical developments in government’s IT agenda – from cloud-based application security to MGT, FITARA, and more.






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Usually agencies want to speak highly of their IT operating systems, so to hear Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Steve Censky call the USDA operating model “splintered and out of date” on Dec. 14 was a bit of a shock.  






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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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Hundreds of people have submitted feedback regarding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s redesigned website since its March 6 launch, according to Peter Rhee, the agency’s director of Digital Communications.






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Gregory Reams, leader of the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis program, said that the open data sets his office makes available are unlikely to suffer the same fate as the animal welfare documents that disappeared from the Department of Agriculture website. “It’s been supported for 80 years and used by a wide constituency,” Reams said at Esri’s FedGIS conference.






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