We're living in an on-demand world - streaming video, same day delivery, peer-to-peer sharing, and more - and events have also adapted to consumer desire for content where and when they want it.
On-demand events tend to be in a webinar format - an educational, one directional presentation. While these events may lack the networking component of live (and even some live streamed) events, they are a great option for learning and training, providing just-in-time information. Continue reading
It's always a good practice to reflect on what's working and what can be improved as we draw closer to closing out another calendar year. Today, we wanted to take a look at some of the newer event space options in Washington, DC.
While the place you hold your event surely is not as important as the content you provide, it can have a big impact on the experience and anticipation for the event. Old stand-by locations are great as they are familiar to attendees - they know how to get there, where to park, and where the best outlets are for charging devices. But if you are looking to attract a different type of attendee or launching a completely new event or format, it might make sense to sweeten the interest by holding it in a new and creative location. Continue reading
Blockchain is a complex technology that aims to streamline repetitive, data-intensive tasks. It has become more than a hot buzzword in government IT circles, it is already being put into practice.
One way to think of blockchain is as a database that is jointly managed by a distributed set of participants. Adding data requires the "sign off" of everyone in the chain, verifying that the transaction is legitimate. Because of this interconnectedness, it is inherently secure. Every piece is linked to another, changing one piece will impact the rest of the chain (just like that one bulb going out on your Christmas lights) alerting all owners to an issue.
Government agencies are drawn to the security and transparency provided by blockchain to improve the efficiency and stability of processes requiring strict audit trails. NIST has provided guidance to help educate as well as encourage organizations to begin trying out blockchain approaches. Continue reading
With the introduction of technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), mobile apps and more, the business functions of government are becoming more automated. While fears of machines taking over the world -- or at least our jobs -- are unfounded, the type of work government employees will be doing is changing dramatically. Additionally, there is a huge learning curve needed for employees to adopt these technologies to ensure they live up to their promise of greater efficiency and cost savings. The common denominator for managing all of this change? Training.
In a recent survey, 43 percent of Federal IT professional respondents said that one of the reasons their IT environments were not optimized to meet current demands was insufficient investment in training. Organizations need to take full advantage of budgeted education stipends to get holistic training for management and employees to ensure they get the most out of their technology investment. Investing more in training up front can save money down the road by avoiding the need to re-tool or even scrap systems to better fit the skill sets of the workforce. Continue reading
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may be the newest cabinet-level department, but it is still facing the same modernization challenges felt across government. The agencies pulled under the DHS umbrella in 2002 came with legacy systems. While a good deal of integration and modernization happened while DHS was being formed, systems have to keep evolving to keep up with the ever-changing threat landscape and the technologies used to threaten the homeland.
Cybersecurity, as it relates to the protection of the national infrastructure and government systems, is a huge focus for DHS. In fact, The DHS Secretary recently said that nation-state adversaries "are at the highest levels since the Cold War, largely but not exclusively due to leveraging cyber to conduct espionage and influence operations and disrupt services." As part of their efforts to strengthen their cybersecurity posture, the Department is leading the Continuous Diagnostic Monitoring (CDM) efforts across government to provide capabilities and tools to identify cybersecurity risks on an ongoing basis, prioritize these risks based on potential impacts, and enable cybersecurity personnel to mitigate the most significant problems first.
With a broad mandate to support election security, DHS has been collaborating across the government to ensure the security of machines and records for national elections. New technologies such as Albert sensors, technology designed to detect suspicious IP addresses and malware signatures, will be in place in 90% or more of voting machines used in November. Continue reading