Drop the ‘Magic’ Cloud Talk and 5 Other Steps to Cloud Migration Success

By Dan Chenok // March 27, 2015

everything possible/

Dan Chenok is the executive director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government

The IBM Center recently hosted a roundtable discussion among several agency chief information officers and IT leaders about the state of play when it comes to cloud migration.

Participants shared insights and perspectives about success factors, lessons learned and areas where further thinking and research would benefit government.

Six key themes emerged from the discussion:

1. Establishing Consistent Understanding of What “Cloud” Means  

There is a need for common understanding and language across agencies -- and between CIO organizations, business units and program offices -- to clarify the conversations around "cloud."  

The Office of Management and Budget, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the General Services Administration can help to advance this consistent framework, which could address a number of elements:

  • The connection between cloud and data center consolidation
  • A way to describe migration of applications and workloads into the cloud
  • Setting out a common view for how cloud is operationalized and consumed. Elements include: bandwidth, storage, electricity, rent, cost models and user expectations
  • Shared performance metrics and service-level agreements across agencies, in areas spanning security, availability, scalability, price and efficiency

2. Adopting an Enterprise ...

Ideas for the New White House Chief Digital Officer

By Luke Fretwell // March 25, 2015

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh as well as an adviser for civic and government-focused businesses.

On Tuesday, the White House named former Twitter product lead Jason Goldman as the nation’s first chief digital officer.

From Goldman announcing his new role:

“The platforms that have been the most successful are the ones that have created the best and most meaningful opportunities for participation. My job will be to use those online tools to create meaningful opportunities for American citizens to participate in our government.”

In his announcement, Goldman asks citizens (using the hashtag #socialcivics) to share their answers to the question, “How can we  -- our government and you and your communities  -- better connect online to make America better?”

Here are my ideas:

  • Turn into a media outlet for our times. The White House is essentially a media machine, telling the story of the president and, more broadly, the executive branch. It produces great content -- blogs, videos, photos — but as we currently know it is a product built for 2009 and so much in media and Web product design has changed since then. We are starting to learn, and even know more about, what a ...

Agencies Need Broadband Today – Why Wait for NS2020?

By Tony Bardo // March 23, 2015


Tony Bardo is assistant vice president for government solutions at Hughes.

Last year, the General Services Administration announced the Network Services 2020 Strategy will supersede Networx, the federal government’s existing telecommunications program that expires in 2017.

A slow initial migration to Networx caused agencies to miss out on literally hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of savings and -- according to the Government Accountability Office -- caused GSA to spend $66 million to support it. GSA recently announced a three-year contract extension for the Networx program, pushing the transition time frame from 2017 to 2020.

However, agencies immediately need capabilities offered by NS2020, and will suffer financial and operational setbacks the longer they wait in procuring these capabilities. And the truth is, in many instances, they don’t have to wait: Much of the emerging technology is available today under the GSA Schedule.

There is much to be excited about in NS2020. In addition to addressing a common agency complaint about the lack of bundled ordering in Networx, it seeks to bring more private sector competition into this program. It divides its offerings into categories for Infrastructure Solutions, Satellite, Mobility/Wireless, Advisory Services, Emerging Technology and Services, and Government Shared Services ...

Improving How Social Media Informs Leadership and Public Initiatives

By Corina DuBois and David Bray // March 18, 2015


Corina DuBois is new media chief at the Bureau of Consular Affairs at the State Department. David Bray is CIO at Federal Communications Commission.

Authors’ note: These views are of personal nature and do not necessarily reflect those of previous or current affiliations of the authors. Any examples cited here are for the purposes of highlighting the different social media platforms with no endorsement implied.

Like private sector organizations, U.S. public sector organizations have experienced shifts in how they use both the Internet and social media to interact with the public.

The mid-1990s onward saw an increase in the number of websites helping individual members of the public learn more about various public sector organizations and initiatives directly from the organizational source, instead of having to go in-person to a library or view microfiche. The mid-2000s onward saw an increase in the number of public sector organizations using one or more social media platforms to engage the public.

There have been both benefits and challenges presented with each of these digital shifts. More public sector websites provided the benefit of more relevant and timely information being available compared to going to a library -- yet, this digital shift also presented ...

It’s Time for a National Chief Data Officers Council

By Luke Fretwell // March 16, 2015

DJ Patil, the nation's first chief data scientist
DJ Patil, the nation's first chief data scientist // Flickr user OFFICIAL LEWEB PHOTOS

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh as well as an adviser for civic and government-focused businesses. 

As momentum around appointing public sector chief data officers grows, it’s time for the federal government to get ahead of the curve and create a formal chief data officers council similar to, but more inclusive, proactive and public than the already-established U.S. Chief Information Officers Council.

We’ve recently seen a number of federal agencies appoint formal CDO positions, including the departments of Transportation, Energy and, just last week, Commerce. Even the White House upped the ante and validated the importance of data by naming DJ Patil as the nation’s first chief data scientist.

“Given the substantial benefits that responsibly and creatively deployed data can provide to us and our nation, it is essential that we work together to push the frontiers of data science,” wrote Patil upon his appointment.

While this momentum, including that at the state and local levels, coupled with the work being done through Project Open Data, is inspiring, there is still a lack of national community, purpose and public visibility on a unified direction and momentum.

As public data becomes a larger and important component ...