Shared Services in government is nothingnew. The idea began in the 1980s with the consolidation of payroll and some other administrative functions. In the '90s the focus was on creating entities that could provide common business functions across government and, in that effort, become a cost center.
The 2000s saw the rise of the term 'Line of Business' that looked at common business functions across government to identify opportunities to transform, streamline and share. The Obama Administration looked specifically to IT as a shared service, releasing the Federal IT Shared Services Strategy that provided federal agency chief information officers and key stakeholders guidance. This guidance focused on the implementation of shared IT services as a key principle of their efforts to eliminate waste and duplication, with the intention to reinvest in innovative mission systems.
FirstNet is a nationwide wireless broadband network for first responders being built and deployed through a first of its kind public-private partnership. FirstNet was borne out of the September 11, 2001 tragedy where it became clear that the radio systems police, fire, and paramedics relied on did not easily operate across agencies. First responders also could not rely on land and mobile phone lines as they were overwhelmed by a high volume of calls. The 2004 9/11 commission report cited this lack of connectivity as a fundamental problem for first responders and pushed for solutions to be developed quickly to support everyday public safety activities as well as response to catastrophes.
The development of FirstNet began in 2012 when the First Responder Network Authority was established and a law was put in place that allocated 20 megahertz of spectrum and $7 billion to establish a broadband network dedicated to the nation's first responders. FirstNet was launched in 2018.
Geospatial, as a strict term, means data that is related to a location. In the government space, Geospatial has been used interchangeably with GIS - or Geographic Information Systems - which refers to technology that uses geospatial data. GIS has long been a key technology for the military and intelligence communities to help map out and gain visibility into areas for combat or missions. But as the availability of geographic data grows through the use of GPS applications, drones, and IoT technologies, the use of GIS is expanding across government.
GIS is a key tool in disaster response helping overlay available resources and assets onto maps of areas impacted by floods or fires. It can also be used to map in real time the location of hazards such as downed power lines.
GIS is also being used by law enforcement. In one case, a boy had gone missing, suspected to be abducted. The boy posted a photo to Instagram and the image, taken from what seemed to be an apartment window, included a sign on a bank across the street. An analyst looked up branch locations and cross-referenced the addresses with online maps, but could not get a location that seemed to be a possible match. When they took that data and loaded it into a GIS system that took a top-down look at locations they were able to pinpoint the location of the child.
Urban sprawl and growth is also being managed with GIS. The city of Durham, NC uses aerial imagery to get a better look at changes being done to properties that impact land use, water runoff, and drainage.
There are several upcoming events focused on GIS as well as others that include discussion of the application of geospatial technology. Continue reading →
Seven Tracks Focus on Strategies and Tactics for Addressing Emergency Situations, Disasters and Cyber Attacks
With an increase need to prevent and respond to incidents impacting our nation on a local, state and federal scale, government agencies, law enforcement and first responders have realized that they all have a stake in protecting their communities and the homeland from natural disasters and manmade threats. Scheduled for May 13-15 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., GovSec - the Government Security Conference and Expo, taking place in conjunction with TREXPO and CPM East - is presenting seven paid conference tracks that will help enable these security professionals to engage effectively in a national approach to prevention, mitigation and response to 21st century threats.
Sessions to Explore Risks and Benefits of Implementing Cloud and Virtualization Services
FOSE 2013 will highlight the growing importance of cost-saving tactics in a budget-driven world by offering a track dedicated to cloud and virtualization, presented by leading government authorities in this space. FOSE 2013 will take place May 14-16 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.
"In a post-event survey, nearly half of FOSE 2012's attendees stated they wanted to learn more about cloud and virtualization," said Mike Eason, Vice President, Public Sector Events, 1105 Media, Inc. "With agency budgets in limbo, this topic will continue to gain popularity as it offers solutions for doing more with less. By offering a track dedicated to cloud and virtualization, we're providing attendees the opportunity to learn more about the implementation and best practices of utilizing these services for their agency."