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Nextgov Prime 2014 Agenda Unveiled

By Camille Tuutti // July 17, 2014

What does government look like in the future? And how can technology transform the business of government? Nextgov Prime intends to answer those questions, gathering more than 1,000 federal IT influencers tasked with designing the government of 2020.

Announced yesterday, the 2014 Nextgov Prime agenda spans across two days between Sept. 8-9 and will help federal managers address pressing challenges in six impact areas:

  • Working Smarter. More Productive. More Public Engagement. Leveraging Technology to Make Change Real
  • Moving Fast. Adapting with Speed. Implementing What Works. Advancing Procurement at the Pace of Technological Change
  • Finding Great People. Organizing Teams. Unleashing Creativity. Developing the Workforce of the Future
  • Security in a Machine Era. Electronic Privacy and Civil Liberties. Managing Risks. Enhancing Security While Protecting Privacy
  • Transformational Public Services. Exponential Change. Empowering the Public. The Art of the Possible
  • Internet Everywhere. Citizen-Focused Services. Greater Responsiveness to the Public. Managing Data and Providing Services in a Mobile World

We’ll soon be announcing keynote speakers and session highlights, so stay tuned for updates.

Platform-as-a-Service: What It Is and How It Could Help Your Agency

By James Benson // July 11, 2014

Mathias Rosenthal/Shutterstock.com

If your agency isn’t currently deploying Platform-as-a-Service, it’s a safe bet it will be soon.

That’s because PaaS is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 41 percent through 2016, according to Market Monitor. The civil side of the federal government expects to spend $643 million on PaaS next year.

The investment represents the next logical step in the “as a service” model. Many agencies are already using Software as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service. If you’re looking for a new tech capability and you can’t spend time developing it in-house, you turn to SaaS to acquire and implement it quickly. If you want seven servers right away, this is where IaaS steps in.

Think of PaaS, then, as the mortar that holds together SaaS and IaaS. With PaaS, platforms are brought into an agency immediately, to accelerate application delivery. They arrive pre-tested, with the ability to scale on demand. This means you won’t launch a project and undergo laborious steps to bring in the platforms needed to make it work. (That scenario delays projects, and often leads to teams working with outdated business requirements because – by the time they get the platform in place ...

Thousands Want to Rename DC Airport after US Goalie -- and 'National Treasure' -- Tim Howard

By Ross Gianfortune // July 2, 2014

Natacha Pisarenko/AP

While the U.S. soccer team was eliminated Tuesday from the World Cup competition in a 2-1 loss, American goalkeeper Tim Howard was the star of the match. Howard's 16 saves were more than any goalie had tallied in a single match since 1966. Now, a U.S. soccer fan has petitioned the White House to commemorate the goalie by naming an airport after him.

A petition posted Tuesday to the White House's We the People site asks the Obama administration to rename Ronald Reagan National Airport to Tim Howard National Airport.

Whereas Tim Howard has shown himself to be a national treasure, Minister of Defense, Friend of Joe Biden, and the holder for the record of most saves in a World Cup match; Therefore, we politely request that we rename the airport to recognize his accomplishments, and meritorious service to the United States of America.

As of Wednesday morning, the petition has 2,700 signatures. A petition needs to garner 100,000 signatures to merit an official response from the White House.

We the People petitions have been sports-based before. Earlier this year, Budweiser and Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith promoted a petition to ...

Why the Hybrid Cloud Is on the Federal Horizon

By Anne Altman // IBM Federal // June 30, 2014

Singkham/Shutterstock.com

Federal agencies are continuing to move their information technology infrastructure and services to the cloud at an ever-increasing pace. A key reason for the accelerated adoption rate: the hybrid cloud model.

The term hybrid cloud is becoming more popular in the federal government, but what does it mean? Quite simply, it is an “all of the above” approach to cloud. The hybrid model combines the benefits of private and public clouds, virtual servers, along with existing onsite IT systems, to create the right IT mix for agencies.

Pure cloud implementations in the federal government are difficult and not practical, due to the complexity of today’s IT environments and the need to manage sensitive assets. Utilizing a hybrid cloud model gives agencies the best of both worlds: the ability to combine the strengths of existing on-premises solutions with the convenience and scalability of the cloud.

It has become clear through our discussions with government and industry leaders that true IT transformation within federal agencies will come through with full integration of hybrid clouds -- and this should guide the products and services  IT providers develop moving forward.

Still, as more agencies dig deeper and look to implement a hybrid approach, it ...

Education Department Apologizes for Offensive 'I'm Poor' Tweet

By Ross Gianfortune // June 25, 2014

Relativity Media

The Education Department's FAFSA Twitter account Tuesday posted and quickly deleted a tweet that caused quite a backlash from followers who found it tone deaf and offensive to lower-income college students.

In an attempt to connect with teenagers and fans of the Academy Award-nominated 2011 film "Bridesmaids," the @FAFSA account posted a screenshot from the film with Kristen Wiig's dialogue -- a drunk plea of "Help me. I'm poor." -- over the image and text saying, "If this is you, then you better fill out your FAFSA: fafsa.gov."

The tweet immediately caused a torrent of negative reactions from followers.