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How to Delight Customers Through Public-Private Partnerships

By Teresa A. Weipert // August 26, 2016

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Teresa A. Weipert is senior vice president of Sutherland Government Solutions.

A key function of government is to address citizen constituent needs. Fulfilling those needs requires implementing innovative and cost-effective services through the public sector’s digital transformation. The goal of citizen service is to provide faster, flexible and more responsive performance in critical mission programs.

Partnering with the private sector has proven to be a good channel for innovation and helps deliver best commercial practices for agencies. This collaboration allows for fiscal accountability and provides a vehicle for efficient and fruitful programs.

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In any vertical—health care, national security, transportation or educationa starting point for innovation can be in public/private partnering for citizen services. In commercial markets, the pressure is to win, maintain and expand market share while delighting customers with excellent customer service. This same level of pressure is on governments today with the goals of excellent response and effective resolution of any issue.

When people think of innovation leading to operational success, the development and deployment of cost-saving, cutting-edge technology solutions first come to mind. One benefit of major...

5 Pop Songs That Can Teach Government Agencies About Launching Mobile Apps

By Lisa Abeyta // August 24, 2016

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Lisa Abeyta is founder and CEO of APPCityLife Inc.

During this year's Accela Engage Conference keynote address, Maury Blackman, who serves as CEO of Accela, told the hundreds of government agencies in attendance the theme for this year's annual conference was mobile, mobile, mobile.

As one of Accela's partners helping to empower more government agencies to develop mobile apps without needing to know how to code through our mobile platform, we field a lot of questions that focus on technical challenges such as blending multiple software platforms into a single mobile interface and normalizing myriad formats of data for mobile integration.

While technical barriers must be resolved to develop a successful mobile app, it is really only the beginning—not the end—of the aspects of mobile app development that need to be addressed if an agency's civic app is to be successful.

Here are five additional things every agency should address to ensure their mobile strategy delivers the desired results.

Everything We Do, We Do It For You

To be successful, start with the problem and then the user experience.

Before your team opts into mobile as a solution, ask this question: What problemand...

Mid-year Cybersecurity Trends Review: What You Need to Know to Mitigate Risk

By Maria Horton // August 12, 2016

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Maria Horton is CEO of EmeSec, a company supporting customers in adopting the cybersecurity and risk mitigation best practices they need to build competitive advantage in today’s connected world.

Halfway through 2016, it is safe to say the cyber phrase of the year is likely to be “regulatory compliance.” It is interesting the focus is on liability (corporate and personal) as the sheer volume, diversity and complexity of cyberthreats accelerate.

Regulatory compliance is not just a government issue.

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As commercial companies look to offer innovation to their customers, their operations and security resources must address in both a proactive and responsive manner the mandates of controlled, unclassified information, cybersecurity framework requirements and human resource challenges. The result is more pressure on internal operations and resources.

Distributed Security Takes Center Stage

Until recently, only large, geographically dispersed enterprises needed to create security plans that capture distributed systems, mobile workforce and endpoints.

However, with the accelerated adoption of public and private clouds, even small and mid-sized businesses need to plan for their security strategy as if they were distributed enterprises.

This includes understanding organizational and...

How Automation Can Unleash Government IT Innovation

By Dave Egts // August 2, 2016

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David Egts is chief technologist at Red Hat U.S. Public Sector.

It’s been said 80 percent an organization’s budget is spent “keeping the lights on” with ongoing operations and maintenance. That leaves only 20 percent left over for innovation. Based on conversations I’ve had with government agency leaders, this is often a best-case scenario.

Given today’s increased emphasis on cybersecurity, that 80 percent may be even higher with unfunded mandates to enhance security postures and reporting capabilities, leaving less and less room for innovation. And security threats and attackers aren’t going to stop.

Some agencies I’ve met with spend almost all their time on the patching “wash, rinse, repeat” cycle. By the time they’re done patching, they need to do it all over again, leaving no time left for innovation at all. What’s an agency going to do?

Automate.

One of the best ways to help lower the 80 percent O&M and free up budget for innovation is automation. Terry Halvorsen, Defense Department chief information officer, says labor is the biggest driver for data center consolidation. In his words: “Software automation can replace manual labor currently carried out by administrators...

Time to Stop Hitting the Cyber Snooze Button on US Infrastructure

By Jack Harrington // July 28, 2016

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Jack Harrington is vice president of cybersecurity and special missions at Raytheon.

When summer thunderstorms roll through, bringing a few scattered power outages in the coming weeks, we will be gently reminded of how critical electricity is to our daily comfort and ultimately our survival.

But what if the cause of the next outage is more sinister than a garden-variety disturbance of local weather patterns?

Power grids have proven to be vulnerable to cyber terrorists. Hackers interrupted a regional power supply abroad (in the Ukraine), and white hat hackers in the Midwest recently demonstrated there’s nothing special about our own grid that would protect our systems from the eventuality of a similar – and potentially much more damaging – fate.

This is precisely the type of scenario that should strike fear into the hearts of the cyber savvy. Those of us who make our bread and butter in the world of cyber defense have long warned of the possibility of cyberattacks that could threaten our critical infrastructure, our economy and our very way of life by extension.

We now have several real-life examples proving such fears are far from unfounded. One only needs to read the latest news headlines to understand...