In a recent interview with Government Computer News (GCN), Federal CIO Vivek Kundra revealed some very interesting perspectives regarding the need to upgrade technology infrastructure, enterprise IT architectures, better procurement, and keys to building partnerships between governments and contractors. The GCN interview offers a mixture of policy directions as well as pragmatic advice for technology leaders. I urge readers to pay attention.
Here are some highlights:
1) On infrastructure - "...Why not look at some of these game-changing technologies, like cloud computing? ... What about a migration into a shared-services model? ... Do we really need to spend billions of dollars in data centers across the federal government? Do we really need to use up all this energy when we can do it in a lighter-weight way?..."
2) On government / contractor relationships - "I believe that the partnerships will actually move to higher-value work. What I mean by that is that if you look at a lot of spending right now, we're not addressing some of the tough issues -- issues around re-engineering how these agencies work, rather than just going out and spending money on servers, routers and switches, and configuring them and upgrading them two years later...."
3) On enterprise architectures - "It's meaningless to have architecture filed away in cabinets. You could have the best document that is just sitting somewhere, yet everyone else is moving forward and implementing a completely different model."
4) On better procurement - "...I think we need to simplify. The [GSA] storefront is one model. I don't necessarily think that we need wholesale transformation right away, though we should evolve toward that...."
Other interesting points included an emphasis on reengineering business processes. He rightly described true business transformation as requiring a new way of thinking and not the approaches followed 30-50 years ago.
I think the interview provides an excellent set of objectives and goals for the next few years within governments nationwide. His comment regarding enterprise architectures that are shelf-ware and not really followed shows some pragmatic insight into how things are sometimes done within government. That is, the implementers and the planners are working off of two different game plans and/or are not working together well.
Overall, I believe that this was a very good interview. What are your thoughts?
Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist, keynote speaker and author.
During his distinguished career, he has served global organizations in the public and private sectors in a variety of executive leadership capacities, receiving numerous national awards including: CSO of the Year, Public Official of the Year and Computerworld Premier 100 IT Leader.
Lohrmann led Michigan government’s cybersecurity and technology infrastructure teams from May 2002 to August 2014, including enterprisewide Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles in Michigan.
He currently serves as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) and Chief Strategist for Security Mentor Inc. He is leading the development and implementation of Security Mentor’s industry-leading cyber training, consulting and workshops for end users, managers and executives in the public and private sectors. He has advised senior leaders at the White House, National Governors Association (NGA), National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO), U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), federal, state and local government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses and nonprofit institutions.
He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry, beginning his career with the National Security Agency. He worked for three years in England as a senior network engineer for Lockheed Martin (formerly Loral Aerospace) and for four years as a technical director for ManTech International in a US/UK military facility.
Lohrmann is the author of two books: Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web and BYOD for You: The Guide to Bring Your Own Device to Work. He has been a keynote speaker at global security and technology conferences from South Africa to Dubai and from Washington, D.C., to Moscow.
He holds a master's degree in computer science (CS) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a bachelor's degree in CS from Valparaiso University in Indiana.
Follow Lohrmann on Twitter at: @govcso
Building effective virtual government requires new ideas, innovative thinking and hard work. From cybersecurity to cloud computing to mobile devices, Dan discusses what’s hot and what works in the world of gov tech.