Over the past year, federal IT modernization has kicked into a higher gear.
The Technology Modernization Fund, created as part of the Modernizing Government Technology Act, has doled out $68.5 million to fund modernization projects. The General Services Administration’s Centers of Excellence have helped the Agriculture department lay the foundation for technology upgrades, and will soon do the same at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The White House has released a new federal cloud policy, dubbed Cloud Smart, to recalibrate governmentwide cloud policy and spur migrations. And agencies have been directed to focus on enhancing cybersecurity for high-value assets, which many still struggle with.
How will the latest cybersecurity directives from the Department of Homeland Security affect your agency? How can your agency best compete for TMF funding? Which emerging technologies are the best fit for your IT team to explore and adopt? All of this activity is a lot to keep up with, and it is likely going to accelerate next year as agencies continue to migrate data off legacy systems.
To help federal IT leaders and professionals stay abreast of all that is going on in the world of government technology, we have collected our 2018 list of must-read federal IT blogs. For a look back at past blog lists, check out our entries for 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014.
Be sure to bookmark this list and check back frequently to get quick access to these blogs. If you think we’ve missed a blog, please don’t hesitate to comment. And if your blog is one of the 30 we’ve chosen, grab a badge to display to your readers. Here, in alphabetical order, are our 2018 must-read federal IT blogs:
Although the U.S. Digital Service has received a great deal of attention over the past few years when it comes to enhancing federal digital services, the General Services Administration’s 18F unit is the granddaddy of digital services in the federal government and continues to work with agencies to modernize their IT. 18F’s blog offers a range of practical tips on how to make contracting and procurement more agile and how agencies can benefit from using GSA’s Technology Transformation Services.
Accenture Federal Services
Accenture Federal Services says that it “does more than write about and think about digital government in theory” and instead is “actively engaged in large-scale federal digital transformation initiatives.” The company's federal blog focuses a great deal on that front, and on IT modernization, digital transformation and agile development in particular.
Army Research Lab
The Army Research Lab bills itself as the nation's “premier laboratory for land forces.” The site highlights how Army research is evolving on everything from quantum entanglement to 3D printing.
Ask the CIO
What better way for federal IT leaders to learn about the innovative work happening at other agencies than for them to hear it directly from their peers? Of course, they can learn such things at the CIO Council, but they can also click over to the Ask the CIO blog from Federal News Network, which sometimes interviews deputy CIOs and those below the CIO level to highlight modernization efforts and how agencies are using cutting-edge tech.
Like the other divisions of Bloomberg BNA, Bloomberg Government provides government decision-makers with the data-driven tools, news and analytics they need to do their jobs and stay informed. The service's blog covers a wide range of federal government technology issues, including key contracts, how deals between vendors will affect the federal IT landscape, changes in technology policy, the role of Congress and more.
Booz Allen Hamilton Perspectives
Management and IT consulting giant Booz Allen Hamilton is a major player in federal IT, especially in cybersecurity, and as a result its associates have a wealth of knowledge about government IT. The organization’s government perspectives series breaks down myths about Big Data and customer experience, and offers insights into how AI and cybersecurity intersect.
The Business of Government
IBM’s The Business of Government blog focuses on key tech topics and how they intersect with the federal government. Recent posts include everything from how the intelligence community can modernize through shared services to how agencies can take advantage of blockchain.
C4ISRNET is one of the premier content destinations for the defense and government communities to stay connected to technology and network innovations to ensure information dominance. For those who want to get an in-depth look at how the Pentagon and military services are pushing ahead on network technology, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, look no further.
Carnegie Cyber Policy Initiative
The Carnegie Cyber Policy Initiative focuses on addressing international cyber policy challenges, as cyberspace is increasingly central to international security and diplomacy. The initiative develops and promotes norms and policy recommendations for enhancing international stability and security in cyberspace. The initiative’s blog regularly features updates from Katherine Charlet, a former National Security Council official who is the inaugural director of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Technology and International Affairs Program. For those looking to get a grasp on how federal cybersecurity policy intersects with national security and international relations, this blog is a must-read.
CIO Council Blog
The federal CIO Council, chaired by Federal CIO Suzette Kent, is the primary interagency forum for improving agency practices related to the design, acquisition, development, modernization, use, sharing and performance of federal information resources. It’s where federal CIOs gather to swap best practices and get on the same page regarding government IT policy. The council’s blog offers insights from CIOs and other government IT leaders on cybersecurity, hiring, digital transformation, AI and more.
CSIS Technology Policy Blog
The Center for Strategic and International Studies is one of the most well-respected Washington think tanks. CSIS’ Technology Policy Program blog brings together leading voices at the forefront of public policy, technological change and innovation. The blog is a forum for leading experts to express their views on the latest developments in technology policy, including privacy, innovation, space and cybersecurity.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is investing heavily in AI and engaged in all manner of high-tech research, including how to thwart botnet attacks before they are even launched. Though this site is less of a blog than a newswire, it does offer Pentagon officials and others in government insight into the technologies DARPA thinks are worth exploring.
Deloitte Insights is an online repository the consultancy uses to publish distinctive, actionable and timely thought leadership. The public-sector sections of the site highlight innovative ways of thinking about technology can transform government operations, including smart military bases, how government and business can work together to reskill workers and innovation in the military health system.
DHS CISA Blog
After a prolonged lobbying effort, Congress recently approved renaming the Department of Homeland Security’s National Protection and Programs Directorate as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The agency’s blog, written largely by Jeanette Manfra, assistant director for cybersecurity and communications, highlights the agency’s cybersecurity initiatives and their impact across the federal government.
DHS Science and Technology Blog
The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate focuses on how to best use tech to fulfill the agency’s sprawling mission. In October, the unit announced it would reorganize its research and development efforts to speed up the commercialization of new solutions to counter emerging threats. The division’s blog focuses heavily on using technology to protect critical infrastructure as well as public safety tech.
DigitalGov is a cross-functional team of writers, editors, strategists, technologists and designers who all work in government and have a wealth of experience creating modern digital services. The group’s blog provides feds with the tools, methods, practices and policy guidance they need to deliver effective and accessible digital services. The blog helps agencies come up with ways to think outside the box on digital service adoption.
Focus on FedRAMP
This is the official blog of the General Services Administration’s Federal Risk and Authorization Management program, which authorizes cloud service providers to operate across the government. The blog focuses on enhancements the organization is making to the FedRAMP program and also highlights ways that both feds and those in the cloud industry can more easily navigate the approval process.
Cybersecurity software company Forcepoint’s blog touches regularly on government security topics, including the Department of Homeland Security's Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program, Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 compliance and other wonky subjects. The blog is a great resource for those who want to gain more knowledge on the technical and regulatory aspects of federal cybersecurity.
Government Sales Insider
This blog, written by a collection of analysts at immixGroup, offers keen insight and analysis into key federal IT policies and developments, especially technology spending trends. The site remains a valuable resource for contractors and those who follow the government’s technology investments.
Great Government Through Technology
Want to stay on top of federal IT modernization? Be sure to check out this General Services Administration blog, which produces regular updates on the agency’s innovation efforts, as well as efforts in category management and enhancements in IT procurement. The blog is mostly written by Bill Zielinski, acting assistant commissioner of the Office of the Information Technology Category at GSA.
Homeland Security News Wire
The Homeland Security News Wire bills itself as “the homeland security industry’s largest daily news publication online, providing well regarded, in-depth analysis and insight, in addition to coverage of the day’s top breaking stories.” The site regularly covers DHS technology updates and investments, especially around public safety technology.
Microsoft Azure Blog
The blog of Microsoft's Azure cloud platform regularly comments on matters related to the federal government, including hybrid cloud security, enabling intelligent cloud and intelligent edge solutions for government and the future of technology innovation.
New America Cybersecurity Initiative
The goal of think tank New America’s Cybersecurity Initiative is to bring the key attributes of New America’s ethos — an emphasis on cross-disciplinary collaboration, a commitment to quality research and diversity — to the cybersecurity policy conversation. For federal cybersecurity pros, this blog offers analysis of international cybersecurity issues as well as practical insights on topics like workforce development.
NIST Taking Measure Blog
Taking Measure is the official blog of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which helps sets standards for federal cybersecurity and data protection, among many other areas. The blog offers insight into NIST’s research and programs, covering a broad range of science and technology areas.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is an agency of the Commerce Department that serves as the president's principal adviser on telecommunications policies pertaining to U.S. economic and technological advancement and to regulation of the telecommunications industry. Increasingly, management of the wireless spectrum is becoming important to federal agencies, especially as they consider adopting 5G wireless network technology. NTIA’s blog is a great destination to stay in the know on the government's role in fostering 5G.
Politico Morning Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity policy does not just emanate from the White House. For the latest scoop on cyber news and developments from the key agencies, Congress and everywhere in between, Politico’s daily download is a must-read.
The SIGNAL Blog
Inside the Beltway, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association is well known for putting on events that highlight how the service branches are approaching tech policy. AFCEA’s SIGNAL blog explores how government and industry can work together on technology, mirroring a key goal of the organization. The blog offers a variety of posts on cybersecurity, data migration planning, AI, network innovations and more.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office deals with a lot more than patents and trademarks. The agency is a key element of what makes and keeps the United States technologically innovative. The agency’s blog recently included an interview with its deputy CIO on how AI could help fuel efficiencies in patent search and the agency’s efforts to use open data to help fuel innovation and new patents.
VAntage Point is the official blog of the Veterans Affairs Department and offers stories from around the VA and the veteran community. While not exclusively about technology, the blog’s tech coverage focuses heavily on telehealth and how mobile technology can improve veterans’ healthcare.
The Government Accountability Office plays a key role in federal IT by keeping track of federal technology modernization initiatives and how much progress agencies are actually making on huge projects like data center closure and modernization. GAO’s blog also regularly provides updates on relevant federal IT topics, like CIO authority, cybersecurity workforce development and more.