Setting the Agenda for 2012 and Beyond

I’m looking at the Federal agenda for 2012 as set out a few weeks ago by Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel. This is what I see:

  • Cloud
  • Mobility
  • Modular Development
  • Cyber Security

Nothing wrong with this, but it seems to me that for 2012 from a strategic perspective this is looking backward a little. The federal strategy for cloud was layed out by Vivek Kundra and it was a good one and is moving forward. Mobility is here, it is a fact. We should already be where it is we’re trying to get to. It is driven by the private economy and we are consumed by it. We should be delivering services to it and we are so it is a matter really of continuing along a path that is already established. NASA, for example, has some wonderful iOS and Android apps as well as EPA, TSA, and many others. Continue to push mobile, that is good, but it is already a well established path prior to 2012. I’m not sure exactly what all is envisioned with the modular development concept based on this information, but it too seems like a preexisting thing. And cyber security, now that has been water that we all must drink and it’s not about to disappear any time soon. Applying it to the cloud environments we are moving to is something that must be adopted to and incorporated ASAP as well as a new approach that is focused on a better understanding of threats and vulnerabilities. We also need to continue to move our data initiatives forward. In Utah, we are doing that by adding Data as a Service as a component of our overall cloud strategy.

The 2012 strategic agenda that I am looking at is more like this:

  • The Internet of Things
  • Semantic Web
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • The Social Web, eDemocracy, and the Explosion of Knowledge

I know that these concepts have been around for a while as well, but beginning in 2012, we have ways to leverage them as never before to dramatically impact government. I’d love to hear your ideas.

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I’m particularly interested in multi-sector solutions to public sector problems.

With budgets shrinking, I think government needs to look more into new approaches from shared in savings. My friend Jeff Friedman in Philly calls it Civic Fusion. Agencies have been partnering with companies like NIC in this approach for awhile. But I think we’ll see more and more of it as capital outlay up front for large projects for government is pretty tough these days

I’m curious about The Social Web, eDemocracy, and the Explosion of Knowledge. What particular pieces are you interested here? How do you see different from original edemocracy discussions and KM discussions?

Veronica Wendt

I attended the meeting where Mr. VanRoekel introduced his 2012 themes. I see your point in the use of the term “strategic” – the difference between his use and yours is a really good example of how tough it will be to actualize Semantic Web.

Additionally, I would say the difference in what he offers and what you offer is that Mr. VanRoekel focuses specifically on what he can accomplish in the next 12 months, before the next Inauguration. As an example, the Federal Mobile Strategy is in the fast track for publication to address Mobile and FedRAMP is expected to soon pay dividends for both Cloud and Security.

Your 4th agenda item certain could fall within the Federal 2012 framework. I see the other three agenda items as very worthwhile, yet not widespread in 2012.

David Dejewski

My preference would be to get the government out of the general IT business as much as possible. It’s costing a lot of money to be behind all the time, to miss the mark, and to duplicate efforts. Frankly government energy is better spent nailing down what it needs IT to do for it now (eg making data transparent and available), crafting standards, etc – rather than building IT systems from scratch that satisfy requirements from 5-10 years ago.

Change the focus from creating IT systems to creating value. IT systems too often come with weak, often unrealized promises of value. Returns on Investment are unicorns the government can’t catch.

Ask anyone with an iPad which they would rather be doing – writing programs or using programs to get stuff done. At 99 cents per app, if one doesn’t work the way we need it to, just buy another one. I’ve often sent notes to developers who have gladly modified their programs and given me an update two weeks or a month later – deployed in 60 seconds or less – free of charge.

Sent from my iPad

Avatar photo Bill Brantley

I like both lists but the most important item that is missing is “Securing the Internet.” Given how much we are dependent upon the Internet and associated technologies and will become even more dependent in the coming decades, we must develop ways to protect this vital infrastructure.