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Text Analysis Provides Deeper Look at Citizen Views

By Tom Sabo // December 29, 2016

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Tom Sabo is principal solutions architect at SAS.

This year’s presidential election was like no other, and American citizens continue to voice their opinion on all things government, most notably on how it can improve.

A recent Pew Research Center poll revealed 80 percent of citizens do not believe the federal government runs its programs well, while another 59 percent believe government needs major reform. With the next president, one might assume a new leader could spur that change, but 74 percent of Pew respondents believe elected officials put their own interests ahead of the country’s.

Whether you agree or disagree with these findings, they provide a pulse on American sentiment at this moment time. Government continually requires this kind of honest insight. However, polls like this are time-consuming, expensive and offer only a narrow view of public opinion, which may or may not be actionable. To affect real change, agency leaders need a deeper and more consistent look into citizen views.

Turning to Advanced Analytics for Text Analysis

In the age of social media, text and sentiment analysis has become an indispensable capability. Through publicly facing social media sites as well as forums and blogs, citizens leave...

Resolutions to Position Your CIO for Success in the New Year

By Larry Payne // December 28, 2016

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Larry Payne is senior vice president of U.S. public sector at Cisco.  

It’s a new year, a new administration and a new era for the federal government—especially in the realm of technology. There is more data than ever before and more ways to use it. So, how will government agencies embrace this evolution, and how will they protect themselves from potential risks?

In my opinion, it starts with strong leadership—particularly a chief information officer who has a seat at the table, a knowledgeable workforce and a comprehensive IT strategy. When envisioning the opportunities you have as you usher your IT system into the digital era, here are five new year’s resolutions to consider to position your CIO for success in building the agency’s digital future.

Secure a Seat at the Table for the CIO

This, in my opinion, is key. The agency needs an IT system both secure and transformational, and one that can manage daily activities but is ready to build and grow. This requires proactivity and a two-way dialogue at the leadership level, which will enable the CIO to build an IT strategy that supports how the agency wants to operate and...

Creating a More Secure and High-Quality Open-Source Supply Chain

By Josh Bressers // December 28, 2016

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Josh Bressers is a security strategist at Red Hat.

As the world’s value-creation activities move from industrial manufacturing to software asset development, and use of open-source software becomes more prevalent, government IT personnel should look to the past to ensure their future. This means taking a close look at their software supply chains and the components they’re using to build applications. A major area of focus should be software supply chain.

Open-source communities are engines of innovation that foster conditions to allow the best ideas and implementations rise to the top. That said, these communities often leave their projects behind as they continually focus on the new and exciting; they don’t see themselves as key suppliers to a complex system integrator; they just want to innovate.

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Community-created artifacts are innovative, but these components need a rigorous quality assurance process to ensure they are ready for enterprise assembly and consumption. Because let’s be honest: While the Wright brothers were part of the aviation development community, most of us would prefer to fly our families on a Boeing jet.

The same basic...

Why Machine Learning Will Help Improve Government Cybersecurity in 2017

By Haiyan Song // December 27, 2016

PureSolution/Shutterstock.com

Haiyan Song is senior vice president of security markets at Splunk.

Email security, ransomware, insider threats and state-sponsored attacks have been headline news for the past year. Cybersecurity, which is generally viewed as bipartisan issue, has officially made it into the mainstream consciousness as a result.

And while it’s certainly never good to see news that another breach occurred, one positive outcome has been increasing conversations about the cyber-oriented world in which we all live and work, and the serious security challenges private-sector and government organizations face going forward.

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These discussions are happening now and part of the focus needs to be on the future of cybersecurity, and identifying what’s on the horizon so organizations from every business sector can prepare. Below are some security predictions for 2017 that will undoubtedly affect both industry and government operations moving forward.

The internet is a critical infrastructure: Distributed denial-of-service attacks—like the Mirai botnet powered—on Dyn have shown us the foundation of our connected world, the internet, is tremendously vulnerable. As such, the internet must be treated as a critical infrastructure.

What does...

Low Code, Not Open Source, is Key to Federal IT Agility

December 23, 2016

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Francois Dunoyer is the U.S. public sector vice president for Appian.

The federal government is striving to increase the agility of the IT systems that underpin mission-attainment and service-delivery. Taking a cue from the private sector, federal agencies are seeking faster time-to-delivery for new capabilities and a rapid response in the face of changing conditions. To that end, U.S. Chief Information Officer Tony Scott recently announced a new government website, Code.gov, promoting a shared-services approach to open-source software under the new Federal Source Code Policy.

Unfortunately for the feds, open source is not the answer to the agility challenge. The reason why is right there in the name of the site and the policy: code.

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Open source certainly appears attractive. It promises license cost reductions, faster delivery and a greater ability to share solutions. Sounds pretty agile. That’s why the federal government has liked open source for more than 20 years. It appears “free” in a world of cost-containment, and it seems that if you build something for one agency, other agencies can easily reuse it.

As with so many...

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