FedTech Magazine - Technology Solutions That Drive Government https://fedtechmagazine.com/rss.xml en Air Force, NGA Embrace AI in Different Ways https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/air-force-nga-embrace-ai-different-ways <span> Air Force, NGA Embrace AI in Different Ways</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Fri, 01/18/2019 - 11:06</span> <div><p><strong>Artificial intelligence</strong> helps federal agencies in a variety of ways, including via <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/06/hello-ill-be-your-chatbot-today-how-can-i-help-you">chatbots that take care of customers’ basic needs</a> and <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/08/computer-vision-how-feds-can-use-ai-advance-beyond-image-processing-perfcon">computer vision technology</a> that enables machines to <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/11/how-computer-vision-can-help-agencies-spot-critical-needs">identify objects </a>in still pictures or activity in video footage in seconds, saving hours of human labor.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.nga.mil/Pages/Default.aspx" target="_blank">National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency</a> has been an enthusiastic proponent of computer vision. NGA, which collects and examines geospatial intelligence and distributes data to the Defense Department and national security community, is one of several defense-related agencies that have embraced AI. </p> <p>The agencies are <strong>using AI for different aspects of their missions and have varying stances</strong> on how to implement artificial intelligence, with some officials urging agencies not to get caught up in the hype on the technology.</p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/voice-assistants-can-streamline-customer-service-agencies" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH:</strong> Find out how voice assistants can streamline customer service for agencies. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Air Force Uses AI to Cut Down Maintenance Time and Costs</h2> <p>AI can provide defense agencies with benefits that save costs and potentially lives, explained Defense Innovation Unit Director Mike Madsen last month at the <a href="https://governmentciomedia.com/cxo-tech-forum-eye-ai-big-data-government-review" target="_blank">CXO Tech Forum: AI and Big Data in Government</a> in Arlington, Va., <a href="https://governmentciomedia.com/machine-learning-ai-national-defense-require-industry-government-collaboration" target="_blank">according to GovernmentCIOMedia</a>. </p> <p>However, officials who spoke at the event also noted that agencies need to take privacy and human rights into account when deploying AI solutions. </p> <p><strong>“We need to operate faster than our adversaries”</strong> by keeping up with AI and machine learning advancements, Madsen said. DIU focuses on identifying highly relevant technology companies and matching them to Defense Department customers through collaborative, agile business processes.</p> <p>Yet doing so means that U.S. agencies may face ethical challenges. Big Data technologies were “born for surveillance,” said Mike Olson, chief strategy officer at software provider Cloudera, according to GovernmentCIOMedia. “We are a democracy committed to human rights. … We need to think of<strong> the ethical implications of the technologies we build</strong>.”</p> <p>There are clear benefits to AI. The Air Force and DIU worked together on a predictive maintenance solution that ingested about seven years’ worth of data from a single airframe platform. As a result, the Air Force was able to <strong>cut unscheduled maintenance time for aircraft by 30 percent</strong>, boosting the fleet’s maintenance reliability rate.</p> <p>“In the aircraft maintenance world, they collect huge amounts of data, but they’re just now learning how to how to manipulate this for things like predictive maintenance,” Madsen said, <a href="https://federalnewsnetwork.com/defense-main/2018/12/ai-breakthroughs-versus-snake-oil-defense-agencies-taking-cautious-approach-toward-tech/" target="_blank">according to Federal News Network</a>. </p> <p>The Army plans to deploy such technology for its Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and the Marine Corps has expressed interest as well, Madsen added. </p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/digital-transformation-report.html" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">NGA, Army Research Have Different Approaches to AI</h2> <p>NGA Director Robert Cardillo has been a proponent of computer vision. In June 2017, at a conference in San Francisco hosted by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, Cardillo said that, at some point, <strong>computers may perform 75 percent </strong>of the tasks NGA analysts currently do, <a href="https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/09/artificial-intelligence-will-put-spies-out-of-work-too/" target="_blank">according to a <em>Foreign Policy</em> report</a>.</p> <p>According to <em>Foreign Policy</em>, Cardillo said he sees AI as a “transforming opportunity for the profession” and is trying to show analysts that the technology is “not all smoke and mirrors.” The message Cardillo wants to get across is that <strong>computer vision “isn’t to get rid of you — it’s there to elevate you</strong>. It’s about giving you a higher-level role to do the harder things.”</p> <p>NGA wants to <strong>build its AI tools and talent in-house</strong>. “We wanted to revitalize the skill set and the ownership, from the government perspective, of having federal employees that can code,” as well as develop Software as a Service applications using AI, Todd Myers, NGA’s automation lead, said at the event, according to Federal News Network. </p> <p>NGA also wants its analysts to understand the history of AI and how the technology has developed. “There’s context there, and it’s been completely lost. And you don’t get that by buying AI and machine learning from a company — you get that from developers in government taking ownership and developing against context for mission relevancy,” Myers said.</p> <p>Over the past two years, NGA has worked to develop relationships with commercial technology players in Silicon Valley and has been trying to get that kind of code into its operations. “We’re bringing the ownership in on my team, to deliver from the government out, which is converse to a lot of the way things are done,” Myers said.</p> <p>“The challenge is the amount of activities that understand code source and pipeline delivery and comprehend what to do in their organizations to bring this in is foreign,” Myers added, according to GovernmentCIOMedia. “We have to normalize these environments. You don’t buy this, you own it.”</p> <p>Meanwhile, Alexander Kott, the chief scientist of the Army Research Laboratory, said agencies should be realistic about AI and <strong>not give in to “irrational exuberance” over what the technology can do for them</strong>.</p> <p>“Let’s not be part of the snake-oil seller crowd for AI. Let’s be realistic about AI — let’s focus on what it can do for the specific tasks speed of specific missions of your organization,” Kott said, according to Federal News Network. “If it’s appropriate, it’s appropriate. If it’s not appropriate, don’t sell it.” </p> <p>While Kott conceded AI has practical benefits for government, he maintained it is not right in every context. “If it is already being attempted to be automated, you probably need to ask yourself: Why did it fail before? AI is not a magic pixie dust that you can sprinkle on your problem and it suddenly will get solved,” he said.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/CoMfravQ_400x400.jpg?itok=W9IAwS8L" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 18 Jan 2019 16:06:09 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42071 at https://fedtechmagazine.com HHS Moves Ahead on Blockchain for Acquisition Modernization https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/hhs-moves-ahead-blockchain-acquisition-modernization <span>HHS Moves Ahead on Blockchain for Acquisition Modernization</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 01/17/2019 - 11:08</span> <div><p>At the <a href="https://www.hhs.gov/" target="_blank">Department of Health and Human Services</a>, the time for talking about <strong>blockchain</strong> is over. Now it’s time to<strong> </strong>see what the technology can do. </p> <p>Last month, HHS received authority to operate and pull live data for a new tool, called HHS Accelerate, which <strong>uses blockchain and artificial intelligence to enhance procurement</strong>. The goal of the tool, which the agency <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/10/hhs-turns-blockchain-reimagine-acquisition">has been testing since last summer</a>, is to give HHS’ contracting officers greater visibility into the agency’s acquisition function. That visibility will allow them to <strong>cut down the length of the acquisition lifecycle, as well as promote better decision-making on contracts</strong>, saving time and money, agency officials say.</p> <p><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/jose-arrieta-6064531/" target="_blank">Jose Arrieta</a>, the associate deputy assistant secretary for acquisition at HHS, <a href="https://federalnewsnetwork.com/blockchain/2018/12/hhs-blockchain-ai-project-gets-go-ahead-to-use-live-agency-acquisition-data/" target="_blank">told Federal News Network</a> last month that HHS Accelerate will pull current data from five contract-writing systems and about 100,000 contracts that represent nearly $25 billion in annual spending. The data will update every 24 hours, Arrieta says. </p> <p>“We believe that there’s significant savings and significant price negotiation power that will come with having full visibility into prices paid,” he told Federal News Network. </p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2017/11/feds-who-want-learn-about-blockchain-should-look-bolzano-italy" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH:</strong> Discover why feds should look to Bolzano, Italy, to learn about blockchain. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">HHS Wants to Speed up Acquisition with Blockchain</h2> <p><a href="https://www.meritalk.com/articles/hhs-officials-discuss-blockchain-ato/" target="_blank">In a separate interview</a> with the program Government Matters, Arrieta noted that HHS has “always struggled with the access to data, access to real-time data, or we’ve been forced into one specific business process,” MeriTalk reports.</p> <p>With HHS Accelerate, the agency has created a standardized set of data, he says, “and we decentralized the execution of that data, leveraging a microservices strategy, to actually empower the acquisition workforce.”</p> <p>Until now, if agencies wanted to make strategically sourced purchase, it could take months to pull all the data together and analyze it before making a decision, according to Arrieta.</p> <p>“Now we have the ability to <strong>do that analysis in one second and provide the information to the contracting officer in negotiation or acquisition planning</strong>,” Arrieta said. “That is extremely powerful. It’s like going to Target; let’s say you’re buying <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/search/Electronics/Cell-Smart-Phones-Accessories/?w=EC&amp;key=iphone&amp;enkwrd=iphone" target="_blank">an iPhone</a> — you look up the price on Amazon and find out it’s $30 cheaper. You show it to the Target cashier and they give you a discount. That is the empowerment of the acquisition workforce and empowerment of the contracting professional.” </p> <p>Arrieta has previously explained that the tool uses blockchain’s distributed ledger technology <strong>as an infrastructure layer</strong>. Then, HHS takes advantage of a microservices strategy on top of that infrastructure layer to <strong>use robotic process automation and machine learning</strong> to automate the process and create deeper analytical insights.</p> <p>“Machine learning actually cleanses the data as it comes in from our legacy systems. Blockchain becomes the reference point and the taxonomy holder,” Arrieta tells Federal News Network. </p> <p>Now that HHS can use live agency data and not static data, the tool will likely be tweaked. “Once we get it operating smoothly, we’ve got to start to share it with our workforce and get feedback from them on what’s valuable and where we can provide better analysis and drill-down and focus,” Arietta says. </p> <p>By March, HHS hopes it can provide the tool to its contracting workforce. </p> <p>“That means extracting the data from the writing systems, being able to analyze it, and then push it to the contracting professionals and get feedback from them on what information is useful, what information could be more useful, what is not useful, and start to train the machine learning in that way,” Arrieta says. </p> <p>According to Federal News Network, next summer, before the end of the third quarter of fiscal year 2019, HHS expects to <strong>decide whether it will move away from one of its legacy systems</strong>, Departmental Contracts Information System, to HHS Accelerate. </p> <p>“We think that won’t have any effect on the workforce,” Arrieta says. “They won’t even know that a change has occurred.”</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/digital-transformation-report.html" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/CoMfravQ_400x400.jpg?itok=W9IAwS8L" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 17 Jan 2019 16:08:58 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42066 at https://fedtechmagazine.com Why You Should Consider the NSA’s Commercial Solutions for Classified Program https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/why-you-should-consider-nsas-commercial-solutions-classified-program <span>Why You Should Consider the NSA’s Commercial Solutions for Classified Program</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Wed, 01/16/2019 - 09:00</span> <div><p>Almost every major piece of federal IT modernization policy the Trump administration has issued, from <a href="https://itmodernization.cio.gov/assets/report/Report to the President on IT Modernization - Final.pdf" target="_blank">the Report to the President on Federal IT Modernization</a> to the <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Presidents-Management-Agenda.pdf" target="_blank">President’s Management Agenda</a>, emphasized the importance of embracing commercial technology solutions to drive innovation across the government. </p> <p>The PMA specifically calls for reducing cybersecurity risks to the federal mission “by leveraging current commercial capabilities and implementing cutting edge cybersecurity capabilities.”</p> <p>For Defense Department components, intelligence agencies and other agencies that deal with classified information, the imperative to <strong>adopt commercial tools often clashes with the need to ensure the strongest possible network security</strong>. However, that’s where the National Security Agency’s <a href="https://www.nsa.gov/resources/everyone/csfc/" target="_blank">Commercial Solutions for Classified program</a> can come in handy. </p> <p>The CSfC program, <a href="https://defensesystems.com/articles/2016/07/08/nsa-commercial-tech-network-security.aspx" target="_blank">which got off the ground in 2016</a>, certifies commercial network solutions that agencies can use to <strong>create secure, encrypted networks</strong>. The program is designed to enable commercial products for use in layered solutions protecting classified National Security Systems data. The goal, the NSA says, is to give agencies the ability “to securely communicate based on commercial standards in a solution that can be <strong>fielded in months, not years</strong>.”</p> <p>The program delivers solutions to agencies that allow them to <strong>streamline their IT footprints while providing security.</strong> This allows agencies to cut costs and makes it easier for analysts and others who monitor networks and protect data to do their jobs. </p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/09/why-disa-has-embraced-sdn-pentagon-perfcon" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH: </strong>Discover how and why DISA has deployed SDN for the Pentagon. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">What Is the NSA’s CSfC Program?</h2> <p>As <a href="https://www.nsa.gov/Portals/70/documents/resources/everyone/csfc/csfc-faqs.pdf" target="_blank">a FAQ</a><a href="https://www.nsa.gov/Portals/70/documents/resources/everyone/csfc/csfc-faqs.pdf" target="_blank"> from the NSA notes</a>, the program is NSA’s “commercial strategy for leveraging industry innovation to deliver Information Assurance (IA) solutions efficiently and securely.” The NSA believes that “properly configured, layered solutions can provide adequate protection of classified data in a variety of different applications,” and agency policy mandates CSfC as the first option to be considered to satisfy an IA requirement.</p> <p>Typical CSfC clients include the DOD, the intelligence community, military service branches and other federal agencies that deal with NSS. </p> <p>By leveraging commercially based and traditional “government off-the-shelf” (GOTS) IA solutions, the program <strong>allows agencies to use the right tools for the right job to protect classified information</strong>, according to the NSA. </p> <p>The NSA <a href="https://www.nsa.gov/Portals/70/documents/resources/everyone/csfc/handout-trifold.pdf" target="_blank">has developed</a>, approved and published solution-level specifications called <strong>Capability Packages</strong>, or CP, for the program, and works with technical communities from across industry, governments and academia to develop product-level requirements called U.S. government Protection Profiles. </p> <p>Customers can register their solution with the NSA “by leveraging the CSfC process to build and test in accordance with the approved CP and selecting components from the CSfC Components List.” Agencies and their integrator partners will follow the specifications and use the information in a CP to “make product selections to<strong> create an architecture with specific commercial products configured in a particular manner</strong>,” according to the NSA. </p> <p> </p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/cyber-security-report.html" target="_blank"><img alt="Cybersecurity-report_EasyTarget.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://biztechmagazine.com/sites/biztechmagazine.com/files/uploads/Cybersecurity-report_EasyTarget.jpg" /></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">The Benefits of the NSA’s CSfC Program</h2> <p>For agencies that need to protect classified data and want to use commercial solutions to do so, the program offers numerous built-in assurance features, <a href="https://www.nsa.gov/Portals/70/documents/resources/everyone/csfc/factsheet.pdf" target="_blank">as the NSA notes</a>. </p> <p>All of the solutions that are accepted into the program are designed and approved by the NSA, and there is <strong>a cadre of NSA-vetted, trusted system integrators available for agencies to work with to implement the solutions</strong>. All of the products in the program have <a href="https://www.niap-ccevs.org/" target="_blank">National Information Assurance Partnership</a>-validated components, satisfy U.S. and collaborative Protection Profile requirements, and are validated against international Common Criteria. </p> <p>Agencies also will be able to potentially save costs by <strong>quickly deploying scalable, commercial products</strong> that are priced based on market competition. The solutions all use <strong>open, nonproprietary interoperability and security standards</strong>, and mitigations applied based on <a href="https://www.ucop.edu/information-technology-services/initiatives/resources-and-tools/sp800-30.pdf" target="_blank">NIST 800-30</a>. Agencies that use CSfC products will have <strong>“situational awareness about which components are used and where,” </strong>and there is documented incident handling procedures. </p> <p>By leveraging commercial technology, CSfC enables agencies to “access mission data and aid decision-making in real time, inside the adversaries’ decision cycle,” the NSA argues. </p> <p>The U.S. Southern Command says that the program greatly improved its ability “to field both enduring and episodic mission partner environments with our partner nations,” according to an NSA fact sheet. The command says it will save <strong>$2.6 million </strong>across a five-year development plan to repurpose<strong> $1 million</strong> of Type 1 devices. Meanwhile, the Air Force Research Laboratory says the program will minimize the cost and complexity of the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network deployments, streamline operations and maintenance costs and enhance security. “CSfC provides the USAF with <strong>the best solution to meet classified network access requirements … especially with today’s budgetary constraints</strong>,” the lab says, according to the NSA. </p> <p>By offering commercial solutions that allow agencies to virtually connect to numerous secure networks, the CfSC program can greatly reduce an agency’s hardware footprint, collapse their physical environment and save costs. That arrangement also allows analysts to do their jobs more efficiently. </p> <p>CDW•G is <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/dam/CDWG/PDF/2018-federal-contracts.pdf" target="_blank">an NSA Trusted Integrator</a> that works with the CSfC program, and its Capability Packages are available for VPNs, wireless LAN, data at rest and mobile access. </p> <p>For agencies that need to protect classified data and networks but don’t want to have their network security solutions be a generation behind where they should be, the CSfC program is an invaluable tool.</p> <p><em>This article is part of </em>FedTech's <em><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/capital" tabindex="-1">CapITal blog series</a>. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the <a href="http://twitter.com/hashtag/FedIT" tabindex="-1" target="_blank">#FedIT</a> hashtag.</em></p> <p><em><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/capital" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><img alt="CapITal blog logo" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/CapITal_Logo.jpg" /></a></em></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/taxonomy/term/11536"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/Morgan.jpg?itok=10521-AF" width="58" height="58" alt="Keshun Morgan" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/taxonomy/term/11536"> <div>Keshun Morgan</div> </a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Keshun Morgan is a Federal Solutions Manager at CDW•G. </p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 16 Jan 2019 14:00:00 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42056 at https://fedtechmagazine.com USDA Explores Whether Drones Can Be Used to Test for E. coli in Irrigation Ponds https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/usda-explores-whether-drones-can-be-used-test-e-coli-irrigation-ponds <span>USDA Explores Whether Drones Can Be Used to Test for E. coli in Irrigation Ponds </span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 01/15/2019 - 11:38</span> <div><p>When the new <a href="https://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/fsma/" target="_blank">Food Safety Modernization Act</a> became law in 2011, it required farmers to test for E. coli and other bacteria. However, the law does not give them any direction on how to do so. The Agriculture Department is <strong>searching for ways that technology can help</strong>. </p> <p>Drones <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/12/drones-take-flight-variety-missions-government">help federal agencies with a variety of missions</a>, including in disaster response and public safety. The USDA’s <a href="https://www.ars.usda.gov/" target="_blank">Agricultural Research Service</a> has been <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/media/video/drones-search-irrigation-water-contamination">researching whether drones can be used to examine irrigation ponds</a>, in the hopes of <strong>coming up with a new standard for ensuring that water is safe to use on crops</strong>.</p> <p>Farmers need to sample their irrigation water and demonstrate that it is safe to put onto crops. Matthew Stocker, a research associate with ARS, notes that it is important to sample the water because bacteria in water can filter into the plant matter and cause illnesses — E. coli cannot always simply be washed off. The recent <a href="https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/12/food-safety-modernization-act-produce-testing-has-yet-to-get-around-to-romaine/" target="_blank">E.coli outbreaks that affected romaine lettuce</a> indicate that the threat from the bacteria to public health is not going away. </p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/07/assets-air-provide-high-value-data-feds" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH: </strong>Discover how agencies store and process all of the data they gather from drones. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">USDA Tests Viability of Drones for Surveying Irrigation Water</h2> <p>The ARS is exploring <strong>whether drones can be used to provide aerial coverage of irrigation ponds to find indicators of bacteria like E. coli</strong>. The service is trying to find a relationship between E. coli and the algae and other content in ponds, according to Jaclyn Smith, a biological technician with ARS. Drones can deliver more accurate and higher-resolution images of ponds than satellites, says Billie Griffith, a biological technician and drone pilot with ARS. Equipped with <strong>infrared cameras</strong> and cameras that capture different wavelengths of light, drones can detect higher concentrations of bacteria. </p> <p>Griffith notes that drones allow operators to get closer to irrigation ponds and get more accurate information. In the ARS’ testing, it programs a drone to fly in a predefined survey pattern that covers the same areas each time. <strong>Software</strong><strong> then digitally stitches together a completed image</strong> of the pond. ARS is trying to determine the best altitude at which to fly a drone at to detect concentrations of E. coli. </p> <script type="text/javascript" src="//sc.liveclicker.net/service/getEmbed?client_id=1526&amp;widget_id=1905786156&amp;width=640&amp;height=360"></script><p>If drones can be used to detect which areas of ponds have higher concentrations of E. coli, then that will cut down on the amount of sampling that is needed, saving money. </p> <p>In the ARS’ research, the cameras on the drones deliver a digital number that corresponds to some parameter that could be related to the amount of E. coli in the water. </p> <p>Eventually, a farmer may be able to fly a drone over his fields and ponds and use the information the drone gathers to <strong>cut down on more expensive measurements</strong>, Stocker says. The goal, of course, is to make food safer for citizens, and to do so in a way that is not burdensome to farmers. </p> <p>“Our goal is to make sure food is safe for everyone,” Griffith says. “And the rules for sampling the water are common-sense rules. They’re going to help the people and they’re not going to be a burden on the farmers.” </p> <p>Yakov Pachepsky, an ARS soil scientist, notes that when the Food Safety Modernization Act was enacted, farmers did not have information on how to sample.<strong> “Technology helps us to get quality information,”</strong> he says. “It gives us an opportunity to look at the stuff we already know from an absolutely new angle.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/CoMfravQ_400x400.jpg?itok=W9IAwS8L" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 15 Jan 2019 16:38:19 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42051 at https://fedtechmagazine.com Army Teams Up with Microsoft on AR https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/army-teams-microsoft-ar <span>Army Teams Up with Microsoft on AR</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Mon, 01/14/2019 - 10:56</span> <div><p>Soon, the “AR” in the Army could stand for augmented reality. </p> <p>In late November, the Army awarded <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/microsoft.html" target="_blank">Microsoft</a> a <a href="https://www.fbo.gov/index.php?_page_back=1" target="_blank">contract worth up to</a> nearly <strong>$480 million</strong> to supply prototypes for its HoloLens augmented reality systems to the Army for use on combat missions and in training, according to the Army. </p> <p>The contract could eventually lead to the military purchasing over <strong>100,000 headsets</strong>, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-28/microsoft-wins-480-million-army-battlefield-contract" target="_blank">according to Bloomberg News</a>, and is intended to “increase lethality by enhancing the ability to <strong>detect, decide and engage before the enemy</strong>,” according to a government description of the program, which is formally called the Integrated Visual Augmentation System.</p> <p>“Augmented reality technology will <strong>provide troops with more and better information to make decisions</strong>. This new work extends our longstanding, trusted relationship with the Department of Defense to this new area,” a Microsoft spokesman said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. </p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/09/ar-and-vr-can-boost-agencies-productivity-report-says" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH:</strong> Find out how VR and AR can boost agency productivity.</em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">AR Could Be Coming to the Armed Forces</h2> <p>While virtual reality produces a computer-generated reality that users can interact with (usually via a headset), augmented reality involves <strong>digital information being brought into a user’s field of view and overlaid onto the real world</strong>, which they observe usually through a smartphone’s camera or a headset.</p> <p><a href="https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/hololens" target="_blank">HoloLens</a> is Microsoft’s AR platform for what the software giant calls<strong> “mixed reality.”</strong> The company has pitched HoloLens for industrial use cases, arguing that the headset can “empower technicians to collaborate remotely and solve problems in minutes, not days, with heads-up, hands-free video calling in mixed reality.” And Microsoft says users can take advantage of 3D models to “create easily editable, life-scale room layouts that you and your stakeholders can experience as holograms in the physical world or virtual reality.”</p> <p>In April 2018, Microsoft revealed that it had shipped <strong>50,000</strong> HoloLens units to customers, <a href="https://mspoweruser.com/microsoft-finally-reveals-how-many-hololens-units-have-been-sold/" target="_blank">according to MSPoweruser</a>. As Bloomberg points out, the contract makes the Army one of Microsoft’s most significant HoloLens consumers. </p> <p>The Army expects the headsets Microsoft provides it to differ from their consumer-grade counterparts in several key ways. </p> <p>Bloomberg reports: </p> <blockquote><p>In a document shared with companies bidding on the contract, the Army said it wanted to incorporate night vision and thermal sensing, measure vital signs like breathing and “readiness,” monitor for concussions and offer hearing protection. </p> </blockquote> <p>Microsoft, as the winning bidder, is now <strong>expected to deliver 2,500 headsets</strong> within two years, and exhibit the capacity for full-scale production. </p> <p>The Army’s contract was designed to encourage the service branch to do business with companies that are not typical defense contractors. Magic Leap, an AR startup, was another bidder, and in August 2018 the Army held meetings with 25 companies interested in participating in some way, including Booz Allen Hamilton Holding, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, according to Bloomberg. </p> <p>The Army is not the only DOD component interested in AR technologies. U.S. Special Operations Command <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/11/special-operations-command-sees-potential-ar-vr-soldiers">has expressed interest</a> in "improvements and enhancements to <strong>visual augmentation systems (VAS) and related auxiliary technologie</strong>s.” This includes AR and virtual reality solutions for “heads-up” displays, as well as the fusion of disparate data sources into a common visual display.</p> <p>SOCOM is looking for innovative technologies and capabilities in several different areas, including AI/machine learning, displays with enhanced optical characteristics, multisensor data fusion and processing, communications and more. </p> <p>Within these areas, SOCOM is interested in very specific technology applications. For example, under the AR/VR and AI/machine learning category, the command is interested in using such technologies for <strong>rehearsal and targeting before missions, holographic displays</strong>, gaming technologies, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuromorphic_engineering" target="_blank">neuromorphic computing and engineering</a>, telemedicine, and synthetic training and operational environments.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/CoMfravQ_400x400.jpg?itok=W9IAwS8L" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Mon, 14 Jan 2019 15:56:39 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42046 at https://fedtechmagazine.com Data Lakes: What They Are and How They Can Benefit Feds https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/data-lakes-what-they-are-and-how-they-can-benefit-feds-perfcon <span>Data Lakes: What They Are and How They Can Benefit Feds</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Fri, 01/11/2019 - 10:16</span> <div><p>It is unclear exactly how much data the federal government generates, but it’s likely in the single-digit petabytes. (A petabyte is equivalent to a million gigabytes.)</p> <p>In 2013, <a href="https://www.informatica.com/content/dam/informatica-com/global/amer/us/collateral/executive-brief/big_data_government_ebook_2340.pdf" target="_blank">Informatica estimated</a> that U.S. federal agencies alone “currently store an average of 1.61 petabytes of data, a figure projected to rise to <strong>2.63 petabytes</strong> by 2015.” <a href="https://www.nextgov.com/ideas/2018/10/modernizing-government-it-starts-data/152207/" target="_blank">Writing in Nextgov</a> in 2018, Dan Tucker, the vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton: Digital Solutions, and George Young, the vice president of U.S. public sector at Elastic, noted that the "the petabytes-on-petabytes of data that agencies generate, collect and retain, is typically scattered across IT silos."</p> <p><a href="https://digital.gov/2018/03/14/data-briefing-value-federal-government-data/" target="_blank">And writing at DigitalGov</a>, William Brantley, the training administrator for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s <a href="https://www.uspto.gov/learning-and-resources/global-intellectual-property-academy" target="_blank">Global Intellectual Property Academy</a>, notes that<strong> the government “is probably </strong><strong>the one</strong><strong> of the biggest (if not the biggest) producers of data</strong>. Every day, thousands of federal workers collect, create, analyze, and distribute massive amounts of data from weather forecasts to economic indicators to health statistics.”</p> <p>Increasingly, much of that data, however much of it there is, is being put not into data warehouses but <strong>data lakes</strong>, which represent a different kind of data repository for agencies. Data lakes are <strong>repositories with flat architectures</strong> that can hold data from a wide variety of data formats, including unstructured data, allowing users to <strong>transform and visualize the data into new structures when needed</strong>.</p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/11/data-migration-process-how-agencies-can-successfully-move-data-modern-systems-perfcon" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH: </strong>Find out how your agency can successfully migrate data to modern architectures. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">What Is a Data Lake?</h2> <p>Data lakes are acknowledgement that the data that agencies need to use and track to execute on their missions is more than just transactional data that can be stored in databases and in structured file folders in data warehouses, says, <a href="https://www.accenture.com/us-en/company-dominic-delmolino" target="_blank">Dominic Delmolino</a>, CTO at Accenture Federal Service. Those data formats are varied, unstructured and variable, and include documents, photos, videos and audio files. </p> <p>“We need to acknowledge reality and find a good place to put all of them, so we can get a good inventory of our data assets, we can tag that data with where it came from, we understand the lineage, the pedigree, who may have looked at, what they may have done with it,” Delmolino says. “And it’s a lot easier if we have an idea of a central place to put all of that data.”</p> <p>The imagery of the lake comes into play in that <strong>users can put fish (data) into the lake, and then get out fish that are important to them</strong>, Delmolino explains. It is a large, fluid, natural resource fed by lots of sources, and inside the lake are <strong>insights and resources that can be explored and exploited</strong>.</p> <p>Data warehouses are structured. Data lakes, by their nature, are less formal in their organizational structure. “The idea in a data lake is that you can <strong>apply structure to that data for a particular purpose when you need to do so</strong>,” Delmolino says. In a data warehouse model, users need to apply structure to data before it is placed in the warehouse — the figurative shelf and pallet it needs to sit on. In data lakes, that specific decision is deferred until users need to access the data.</p> <p><img alt="IT%20Infrastructure_IR_1%20(2)_0.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/IT%20Infrastructure_IR_1%20(2)_0.jpg" /></p> <p>Data lakes store data in its original format from its originating system, according to Delmolino. But if a user wants to use the data and combine it with other systems’ data for a new purpose or for new insights, the user will then decide upon a new structure for the data. Data lakes give users the computing horsepower and space to create different versions of the data. </p> <p><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/cchehreh" target="_blank">Cameron Chehreh</a>, COO and CTO of <a href="https://www.cdwg.com/content/cdwg/en/brand/emc.html#flash?cm_mmc=Vanity-_-EMC-_-NA-_-NA" target="_blank">Dell EMC Federal</a>, says data lakes enable agencies to take the data that drives information and insights for them and put the data into “a consolidated and scalable agile repository.”</p> <p>Agencies have vast missions, Chereh notes, and for a long time built data siloes that were specific to each mission component. “What we’re finding is, to drive new levels of insight and deeper knowledge about these mission segments, it <strong>requires more fusion of the data set itself</strong>,” he says. “So really, at its core, a data lake is about building a consolidated and scalable agile repository that promotes the ability to build to derive greater insights into your existing mission data sets.”</p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/10/imagine-nation-elc-2018-use-government-data-innovation-possible-revenue" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH: </strong>Find out how agencies can use government data to drive innovation! </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">What Are the Benefits of Data Lakes?</h2> <p>There are numerous benefits of data lakes for agencies, experts say. A major benefit is that data lakes allow agency IT leaders and staff to put data from different systems next to each other so that they can <strong>correlate data activity across systems</strong>.</p> <p>For example, two different systems may report different numbers of items in inventory. Agencies then spend a lot of time reconciling those systems. “One of my friends used to say, ‘Let’s get all the liars in a room together and come to the truth’” Delmolini says. “A data lake is great for that, because when I put data from different systems in the same place, I can run those comparisons in place and determine, across systems, a real, unified version of agency information.”</p> <p>IT leaders may discover that one system did not record a transaction because it was not germane to its business process, whereas another system did. Data lakes let agencies understand how they tracked data in the past and if they should continue to do so.</p> <p><strong>Data reconciliation and the ability to get a unified idea of the status and pedigree of data</strong> is much easier to achieve in a data lake, Delmolino says, and agencies can do so in a controlled and secure manner.</p> <p>Chehreh notes that another key benefit to data lakes is that they can <strong>ingest any type of data</strong>. They then create a mechanism for agencies to add metadata around the data so that it can be tagged and easily searched by any user that has secure and proper access to the data lake. “This allows people the opportunity to <strong>drive those deeper insights</strong>,” he says.</p> <p>For example, the IRS could use data lakes to tie together databases and get a “better line of sight” on waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars, Chehreh says. The intelligence community can use data lakes to combine data sources and more easily find a terrorist group or other adversary.</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/CoMfravQ_400x400.jpg?itok=W9IAwS8L" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Fri, 11 Jan 2019 15:16:14 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42041 at https://fedtechmagazine.com How the Navy Uses VR to Help Train Aircraft Carrier Crews https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/how-navy-uses-vr-help-train-aircraft-carrier-crews <span>How the Navy Uses VR to Help Train Aircraft Carrier Crews</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 01/10/2019 - 11:03</span> <div><p>Aircraft carriers can be busy, dangerous places. As <a href="https://www.onr.navy.mil/en/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2018/ONR-TechSolutions-Flight-Deck-Crew-Refresher-Training" target="_blank">the Office of Naval Research notes</a>, catapult systems can remove limbs, furious engines are roaring, and sailors must contend with whipping propellers and high winds. All of that is happening as sailors and airmen help jet planes take off and land on a floating landing strip in the ocean.</p> <p>Flight deck crews on aircraft carriers perform <strong>a carefully choreographed ballet of movement to launch and recover planes safely</strong>, but in order for that to happen amid an atmosphere of controlled chaos, these crews must be highly trained. Until recently, according to ONR, flight deck crews could only conduct training while on the job. Now, however, they can do so through virtual reality, <strong>training for complex scenarios without putting anyone in danger</strong>. </p> <p>The Navy late last year launched <strong>a VR training program</strong> for flight deck crews on aircraft carriers. The simulator uses <strong>not just VR but also gesture recognition and touchscreens for controls and ship systems</strong>, <a href="https://federalnewsnetwork.com/navy-2018/2018/12/using-virtual-reality-to-train-for-one-of-the-navys-most-dangerous-jobs/" target="_blank">according to Federal News Network</a>. </p> <p>“Having training available where we can actually practice and repeat activities as a team or as an individual or a team of teams helps us simulate the very dangerous environment in a safe location,” Courtney McNamara, Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division’s advance gaming interactive learning environment team lead, says in an interview with Federal News Network. “Our new technology helps them simulate that in a safe location. It also helps them <strong>practice in emergency conditions that normally can’t be done on the real ship</strong>.”</p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/12/vr-can-enhance-military-training-and-treat-trauma" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH: </strong>Discover how VR can enhance military training and treat trauma. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">Navy’s VR Training Simulates a Variety of Conditions</h2> <p>The VR training program is the result of a collaboration between the Office of Naval Research <a href="https://www.onr.navy.mil/techsolutions/" target="_blank">Global TechSolutions program</a> and the <a href="http://www.navair.navy.mil/nawctsd/home" target="_blank">Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems </a><a href="http://www.navair.navy.mil/nawctsd/home" target="_blank">Division</a>, and is known as the Flight Deck Crew Refresher Training Expansion Packs (TEPs). The system is “an expandable framework of game-based immersive 3D technologies that allows for individual, team or multiteam training events,” according to ONR. </p> <p>According to Federal News Network, the simulator technology looks like something out of a video game arcade, with <strong>a panoramic screen and radio communications technology</strong> that sailors can use to communicate with one another. </p> <p>“Having a simulator that allows us to tie the full flight deck team with all the key decision-makers, supervisors, catapult crew and watch stations together — and train in a virtual environment — is just fantastic,” said Cmdr. Mehdi Akacem, Air Boss on the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, said in a statement.</p> <p>The first three TEPs will help a carrier’s <strong>primary flight control team, the landing signal officer (LSO) team </strong><strong>and</strong><strong> the catapult launch team.</strong></p> <p>TechSolutions is ONR Global’s rapid-response science and technology program, and it develops prototype technologies to address problems voiced by sailors and Marines, usually within 12 months. The idea for the VR training came from an LSO instructor at Naval Air Station Oceana, according to ONR. </p> <p>“All of the ship systems, characters, flight deck crew characters and team members can be both driven synthetically or by live players,” McNamara said in a statement. The training simulates real-world environments, and even the flight patterns that occur during the simulations are based on real flight patterns conducted by pilots.</p> <p>“We can <strong>simulate weather conditions, we can simulate all of the ship systems themselves</strong> so that all of the proper data and information is getting to the trainees so they can make good decisions,” McNamara tells Federal News Network. “We are also using real aerodynamic data for the aircraft through a partner organization.”</p> <p>The simulation is currently being used by sailors, and the catapult simulation replaced the trainer of record at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, according to Federal News Network. The two other programs are being used at the Landing Signal Officer Schoolhouse at Naval Air Station Oceana, and the Navy is exploring which other locations can use the simulator. </p> <p>“We had over 50 fleet members from five different carriers and two different schoolhouses throughout the entire process,” McNamara tells Federal News Network. “We’ve had fleet feedback not only as part of the design, but part of the review of the system from day one. <strong>There’s a real interest in seeing this move forward quickly.</strong> There’s a desire to train on it yesterday.”</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.cdw.com/content/cdw/en/orchestration/digital-transformation-report.html" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><img alt="Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" src="https://fedtechmagazine.com/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/Digital%20Transformation_IR_1.jpg" /></a></p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/CoMfravQ_400x400.jpg?itok=W9IAwS8L" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 10 Jan 2019 16:03:57 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42036 at https://fedtechmagazine.com GSA's Justin Herman to Head to the Private Sector https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/gsas-justin-herman-head-private-sector <span>GSA&#039;s Justin Herman to Head to the Private Sector</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Thu, 01/10/2019 - 09:55</span> <div><p>Justin Herman, who has led the General Services Administration’s <a href="https://www.gsa.gov/technology/government-it-initiatives/emerging-citizen-technology">Emerging Citizen Technology program office</a> for GSA’s Technology Transformation Services, is <strong>leaving the federal government for the private sector</strong>. </p> <p>Herman, <strong>who has been at GSA since 2012</strong>, announced his departure Jan. 7 in <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/reflections-emerging-tech-public-service-moving-forward-herman/" target="_blank">a LinkedIn post</a>, noting that because of the partial government shutdown he could not email his colleagues in government. Herman <a href="https://www.fedscoop.com/gsas-emerging-tech-lead-herman-heads-private-sector/ " target="_blank">confirmed to FedScoop</a> that he will take over Jan. 14 as the head of public sector for Twilio, a San Francisco-based cloud communications Platform as a Service company.</p> <p>“For almost seven years at the U.S. General Services Administration it has been an extraordinary honor for me to serve alongside so many of you in the <strong>advancement of new technologies and solutions to improve the public services</strong> that help ensure a better American way of life for all,” Herman wrote on LinkedIn. </p> <p><a href="https://www.nextgov.com/emerging-tech/2019/01/gsa-emerging-tech-leader-heads-private-sector/153976/" target="_blank">As Nextgov reports</a>:</p> <blockquote><p>Since joining GSA in 2012, Herman has pushed agencies to expand their use of robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, blockchain, virtual reality and other innovative tech. He previously oversaw a portfolio of federal efforts to connect with citizens using social media.</p> </blockquote> <p>Herman ended his note on LinkedIn by urging colleagues in government to “collaborate and partner across boundaries — don’t go it alone;” to “get more out of your data — don’t go in blindly;” and to “learn from the past but never be held hostage by it — don’t go backwards, don’t even stand still.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/CoMfravQ_400x400.jpg?itok=W9IAwS8L" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Thu, 10 Jan 2019 14:55:33 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42031 at https://fedtechmagazine.com ICE Makes Headway on Its Cloud Migration https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2019/01/ice-makes-headway-its-cloud-migration <span>ICE Makes Headway on Its Cloud Migration</span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Wed, 01/09/2019 - 11:22</span> <div><p>U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement may be focused on activity around land borders, but the agency also has its head in the cloud. </p> <p><a href="https://www.ice.gov/" target="_blank">ICE</a>, a component of the Department of Homeland Security, is <strong>more than halfway done with its migration to the cloud</strong>, following a push that started in the summer of 2017. The agency’s cloud migration is part of a wider push within DHS to <a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/06/dhs-sees-many-benefits-cloud-migration">adopt a </a><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/06/dhs-sees-many-benefits-cloud-migration">multicloud</a><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/06/dhs-sees-many-benefits-cloud-migration"> strategy,</a> something being promoted by DHS CIO John Zangardi. </p> <p>By June 2020, Federal News Network reports, <a href="https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Data-Centers.pdf" target="_blank">DHS’ Data Center 1 (DC 1) and Data Center 2 (DC 2) contracts</a> will both expire. DC 1 is located in Stennis, Miss., and is still a primary hub of agency data traffic. DHS has <a href="https://itdashboard.gov/drupal/dcoi-closures" target="_blank">met the Office of Management and Budget’s mandate</a> to close six of its large tiered data centers, but must <strong>still close an additional 19 nontiered data systems</strong> before October 2020.</p> <p>“What ICE said was, ‘Well, instead of moving 125 environments from one zone of the data center and putting our entire customer base through that terrible process of outages and downtime and troubleshooting … we said, <strong>‘We’re just going to go to the cloud,’”</strong> ICE CTO David Larrimore said in December at Digital Government Institute’s cloud computing conference, <a href="https://federalnewsnetwork.com/cloud-computing/2018/12/ice-more-than-halfway-done-with-cloud-migration-despite-snags/" target="_blank">according to Federal News Network</a>. </p> <p>“It’s working, and we couldn’t have done it if we didn’t spend two years figuring out what does the cloud mean to us.”</p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/12/what-casb-and-how-will-cloud-smart-strategy-increase-its-use-perfcon" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH:</strong> Find out how the Cloud Smart strategy could lead to more CASB use. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_0">ICE Puts the Pedal to the Metal on Cloud Migration</h2> <p>Since the summer of 2017, ICE has shifted <strong>45 of 75 production systems to the cloud</strong>, and over the course of a four-month period it quadrupled the number of servers it has in the cloud, <strong>from about 300 to 1,200</strong>. Larimore says ICE has completed more than 60 percent of the cloud migration.</p> <p>“We’re all-in,” he said. “We’ve instituted moratoriums on development. We’ve got all the timelines, we’ve got daily stand-up [meetings],” as well as metrics and dashboards.</p> <p>ICE has adopted <strong>a hybrid cloud model</strong>, keeping some of its most sensitive data and applications on its own data centers while adopting commercial cloud tools. “As long as your agency [or] your component is still dependent upon a private network, you will always be hybrid,” Larrimore said, according to Federal News Network. “There is no chance that you can be all in the cloud.”</p> <p><a href="https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/12/where-cloudgov-headed-2019" target="_blank"><em><strong>MORE FROM FEDTECH:</strong> Discover where cloud.gov is headed in 2019. </em></a></p> <h2 id="toc_1">ICE Encounters Latency Issues with Cloud</h2> <p>While ICE has moved the majority of its workloads to the cloud, <strong>users still face network latency issues</strong>, Larrimore says, especially when they pull data from the Stennis data center and other locations. </p> <p>“It really becomes a physics problem, where when you start to separate and leverage these cloud services, you’re now separating the data and now you’re adding latency to your system and your application,” he said, according to Federal News Network. </p> <p>“If you’re Customs and Border Protection or <a href="https://www.tsa.gov/news/testimony/2014/09/18/tsa-secure-flight-program" target="_blank">TSA Secure Flight</a>, that makes a huge difference. As long as that is a known problem, you’re always going to have trouble adopting a hybrid cloud environment,” he added. “Knowing that latency is out there, you’re always going to have that problem.”</p> <p>DHS has spent the past 15 years making sure agency employees can get very rapid access to the Stennis data center, Larrimore said, but <strong>“nobody spent a </strong><strong>lot</strong><strong> time talking about the cloud.” </strong>Now, he said, DHS is trying to ensure that its data center can communicate with apps in the cloud. </p> <p>“When you’re at your desk trying to access the cloud, the first thing that little packet does is it goes to the data center in Stennis, Mississippi,” before connecting to the cloud. “We have to fundamentally change that. And that’s a trust problem in the federal government.”</p> </div> <div> <div class="field-author"> <div id="taxonomy-term-" class=""> <div class="author-photo"> <a href="/author/phil-goldstein"><img src="/sites/fedtechmagazine.com/files/styles/face_small/public/people/CoMfravQ_400x400.jpg?itok=W9IAwS8L" width="58" height="58" alt="Phil Goldstein" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </a> </div> <div class="author-info"> <span>by </span><a rel="author" href="/author/phil-goldstein"> <div>Phil Goldstein</div> </a> <a target="_blank" class="twitter" href="https://twitter.com/intent/follow?region=follow_link&amp;screen_name=philgoldstein&amp;tw_p=followbutton&amp;variant=2.0"><span>Twitter</span></a> </div> <div class="author-bio"> <p> <div><p>Phil Goldstein is a web editor for <em>FedTech</em> and <em>StateTech</em>. Besides keeping up with the latest in technology trends, he is also an avid lover of the New York Yankees, poetry, photography, traveling and escaping humidity.</p> </div> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> Wed, 09 Jan 2019 16:22:02 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42026 at https://fedtechmagazine.com New Blog https://fedtechmagazine.com/ad/new-blog <span>New Blog </span> <span><span lang="" about="/dashboard/philgoldstein6191" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">phil.goldstein_6191</span></span> <span>Tue, 01/08/2019 - 10:46</span> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-vertical" data-layout="vertical" data-url="https://fedtechmagazine.com/ad/new-blog" data-title="New Blog" data-via="FedTechMagazine" data-button-background="none"> <span> <span>Jan</span> <span>08</span> <span>2019</span> </span> <a class="pw-button-twitter cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-facebook cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-linkedin cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-reddit cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-flipboard cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a class="pw-button-email cdw-taboola-social"></a> <!-- Pinterest button is in EdTechk12 theme's vertical template --> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-horizontal" data-counter="true" data-url="https://fedtechmagazine.com/ad/new-blog" data-title="New Blog" data-via="FedTechMagazine" data-button-background="none"> <div> <a class="pw-button-twitter cdw-taboola-social"></a> <a href="https://twitter.com/search?f=realtime&amp;q=https%3A%2F%2Ffedtechmagazine.com%2Frss.xml%3Fitok%3DfxuaHMkA%26destination%3D%2F%253Fitok%253DfxuaHMkA%26_exception_statuscode%3D404" target="_blank"><span class="pw-box-counter cdw-taboola" data-channel="twitter"></span></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-facebook cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-linkedin cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-reddit cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-flipboard cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-email cdw-taboola-social"></a> </div> <!-- Pinterest button is in EdTechk12 theme's horizontal template --> </div> <div class="pw-widget pw-size-medium pw-layout-horizontal" data-url="https://fedtechmagazine.com/ad/new-blog" data-title="New Blog" data-via="FedTechMagazine" data-button-background="none"> <div> <a class="pw-button-twitter"></a> <span class="pw-box-counter" pw:channel="twitter"></span> </div> <div> <a class="pw-button-facebook"></a> <span class="pw-box-counter" pw:channel="facebook"></span> </div> </div> Tue, 08 Jan 2019 15:46:26 +0000 phil.goldstein_6191 42021 at https://fedtechmagazine.com