Getting Mobile Government Moving

 

Given that we all walk around with a device in our pockets that has more computing power than it took to put a man on the moon, mobile is a key channel for government to use to reach citizens and get work done. This ubiquity has led to mobile being an integral part of every agency's IT strategy. While this has opened a new medium for citizen interaction, it also raises issues around security and privacy. Today, agencies are looking to balance the opportunities presented by mobile with implementation challenges.

Mobile devices are quickly becoming a channel of choice for emergency communication and coordination. Many in the DC area experienced this firsthand with the Wireless Emergency Alert System test in April. This is in addition to regular use of mobile messaging for localized missing child Amber Alerts nationwide. To support this type of alerting and collaboration the FirstNet network was set up to be a wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. A recent hack-a-thon helped encourage the development of new applications on the network.

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Location, Location, Location. New Meeting Options in DC

While the location of an event may not make or break it, the venue has a huge impact on the attendees' experience. The content could be fantastic, but if people have to circle a parking lot for 30 minutes looking for a space, they may not be ready to take in all the great information being delivered (speaking from experience....).

There's also a fatigue factor among venues to consider. Events in a city seem to take place at the same dozen or so venues. For event planners, this puts more pressure on the content of your event to drive the experience. It becomes harder to stand out from the other events people have attended at the same location. While there is a great deal of innovation in modern meeting spaces, the reality is once you've been to one convention center, you've really seen them all. And let's not get started on the windowless ballrooms.

With all this in mind, we've done some research on new spaces for government events in DC. Continue reading

Maximizing the Attendee Experience

Our post on Citizen Experience with government services got us thinking, how can event planners better cater to the needs and expectations of their attendees and what role do those attendees play in the feedback loop?

As this article illustrates, there is immediate and delayed feedback. Immediate feedback is gleaned through polls, show of hands questions, and quick surveys. These are easy for the attendee but don't provide a huge amount of insight for planners. Delayed feedback comes in the form of post-event surveys that can ask more complex questions. While this requires more work for attendees, it can be much more valuable for event organizers. A mix of both of these types of feedback loops may prove to be the most beneficial for planners and attendees alike. Continue reading

Department Spotlight: DoD – More Money, More Opportunity?

With the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2018 passing in February, the defense discretionary funding cap was increased by $80 billion in FY2018 and $85 billion in FY2019. The DoD now has over $700 billion in their budget. This type of legislation is not unprecedented with BBAs issued in 2013 and 2015. However, the 2018 deal does stand out in terms of the amount of money added to funding caps.

So what are defense agencies doing with this influx of federal dollars? According to research from Market Connections, two thirds of Defense decision makers say that money will go toward projects that have been stalled due to budget disagreements and continuing resolutions. This means that agencies are not necessarily investing in net new work, rather using the influx to put existing plans and programs into action. Those projects getting the kick start range widely, with a large portion involving cybersecurity, modernization initiatives, and training. Continue reading

Data Centers Continue Their Starring Role

 

Around this same time last year we wrote about the federal government's focus on consolidating data centers for better IT efficiency. The Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) that is driving changes across government has extended its deadlines for agency compliance. Originally, agencies were to meet a variety of consolidation, energy efficiency, and cost reduction goals by the end of calendar year 2018. With fewer than one in five Federal data center leaders saying that their data center was on track to meet their DCOI goals, an extension seemed inevitable. Now, agencies have until 2020 to install energy metering tools, use automated monitoring and operations, maximize floor space use in existing data centers, reduce data center costs by 25%, in addition to a number of other cost savings and efficiency goals.

In addition to DCOI, agencies are also looking to comply with the Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGT) that looks at government IT as a whole, incorporating data centers into the overall plans to modernize how government procures and uses technology for citizen service.

A third driver for modernizing the data center is the desire to do more with the data we have. No longer is a data center a place to store information, it is a place to interact with information. Continue reading