The U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD) shift from a focus on counterterrorism to one of near-peer rivals has highlighted the need to incorporate emerging technologies into the DoD faster than ever before. To keep up with the technological advances of peer nations, it is critical that the DoD speed the time to the field of technologies that can give our troops an advantage in terms of intelligence, data sharing, and visibility. But in this need for speed, the security and the reliability of these solutions cannot be ignored.
DoD is successfully striking the balance of speed, innovation, and reliability with several recent implementations of emerging technology.Continue reading →
Beyond its important mission of "caring for those who have served in our nation's military and for their families, caregivers, and survivors," the work of today's U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is guided by a strategic plan that lays out agency goals to be achieved through 2028. The projects the VA initiates over the coming years will support the following goals:
Consistently communicate with customers and partners to assess and maximize performance, evaluate needs, and build long-term relationships and trust
Deliver timely, accessible, and high-quality benefits, care, and services
Build and maintain trust through proven stewardship, transparency, and accountability
Strive toward excellence in all business operations--including governance, systems, data, and management
Several recent programs illustrate the commitment that the VA has to meeting and exceeding these goals by 2028 and beyond.Continue reading →
The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) annual member survey aimed to get a picture of what is currently happening in IT implementation at the state level. It focused on how states are funding their IT work and how they are implementing key technologies.
Show Me the Money
The survey found that state CIO offices have a median budget of $132 million, with high levels of federal funding resulting from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, the American Rescue Plan, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. But with the level of modernization needed to meet citizen expectations of digital government, that frequently is not enough.
States are increasingly moving to a "chargeback" model where IT funding comes from the business unit where it is used. For example, the Human Resources Department would be responsible for paying for the licenses and development costs of their HR information system, rather than that being seen as an overhead expense funded out of IT. This model allows CIOs to use more of their budget for large-scale IT modernization projects that stretch over many years and impact multiple departments.Continue reading →
Generative AI is a type of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that produces content. That could be a story, an image, or an audio file, and is a shift from traditional AI usage, which is focused on completing a task based on predefined rules. Generative AI utilizes existing data to produce this new content based on a prompt such as "write a blog post on government use of generative AI." Disclaimer: generative AI was not used in the creation of this blog post.
Balancing Act of Generative AI
Like traditional AI, generative AI holds great promise for automating highly manual tasks in many areas of government. A recent report found that three-fourths of agency leaders said their agencies have already begun establishing teams to assess the impact of generative AI and are planning to implement initial applications in the coming months.Continue reading →
Cybersecurity plans need to encompass physical and virtual assets located on earth as well as those orbiting the earth. The cyber universe extends into the actual universe with satellites, weapons systems, and exploratory vehicles and devices all connecting to terrestrial networks. Protecting those endpoints and the IT paths in between is critical. A Russian attack on the Viasat satellite constellation knocked out communications across Ukraine on the eve of an invasion and serves as a high-stakes example of how much we rely on space-based objects for basic communication.
The U.S. Space Force and NASA are working to harden and protect the IT between earth and space, but are facing the same issues as other agencies in terms of the cybersecurity skills gap. There simply are not enough trained people to complete all the work that needs to be done to secure the vast network these organizations oversee. To bridge this gap, space agencies are finding new ways to meet the cyber needs of the nation, and the universe.Continue reading →