There is a lot of uncertainty in the air,” said one consultant close to the Office of Management and Budget’s IT efficiency initiatives who asked not to be identified. “The whole IT industry and federal IT operations are in a wait-and-see holding pattern,” he said, anticipating official word on key federal IT initiatives and leadership positions.
In my amateur analysis of Trump’s effect on IT spend, it seems like there’s three options:
- More of the same with big contractors and vendors, just wrapped up in myths of change.
- Complete shut down of everything with respect to growth; they just stop spending and let government IT age.
- Start working with new government contractors and doing things differently; the “Space X” option.
Who knows what’ll happen?
Boeing and Lockheed were already worried about their costs long before the election. If I were the United Space Alliance, I would be even more terrified of the danger of losing government business now. And those of us in federal IT need to realize that our time may be around the corner.
As we discussed in the 2017 predictions show last month, the Trump adminstration is clearly not reliable in it’s agenda or principals for any reliable, let alone logical, predictions. Cutting spending in favor of “non-traditional” options, though, seems like something they’d goof into.
“So anyone who is producing food that ends up in our grocery stores, we’re working with them to get the data from their labels and the packaging information to come right into the database for us,” Pamela Stark Reed, deputy administrator for Nutrition, Food Safety and Quality, said on Information Management month.
The database has actually existed for over a century, Reed said. But before starting the initiative, it only had about 8,000 entries. Since opening it up to manufacturer submission, ARS has received 80,000 new items, a 1000 percent increase.
And on future plans:
The goal for the database is to eventually expand to 1,000,000 items. Reed said ARS anticipates getting store brand and international food items into the database soon. Some items from chain restaurants may follow.
Because of this, the agency is looking into cloud services to increase its storage capacity.
Just imagine, globally, how many data sets like that there are. Throw in the workflow to injest and cleanup the data, and change it, plus APIs to access it, and you have an almost endless amount of projects for software eating.
From an interesting sounding panel on government IT:
“We do discovery on a small chunk and then development, and then while that’s going on, we’re starting discovery on the next small chunk, and so on and so forth,” Smith said. “And then when the development is done, we loop back and we do user testing on that piece that’s done. But we don’t release it. That’s … one of the differences between agile and the way we did it. At the end of the phase we release everything.”
Also, some fun notes on consolidating legacy systems and resistance to going agile.
Last year I wrote several columns for FierceDevOps. Nancy Gohring was the editor there and graciously asked me to do so (she’s moved over to being an analyst at 451 and is doing awesome work over there). The FierceEmpire has shifted their stuff around and now it’s either impossible or impossibly tedious to find those pieces, so I moved them over to Medium. I’ve got to get my URLs to be my overly self-referential self, after all!
Here they are:
- Software Defined Businesses need Software Defined IT Departments
- Here’s how we can help push DevOps into the mainstream
- There’s no easy way to model DevOps ROI
- Management’s role in DevOps: orchestrating the why
- Barriers to DevOps in government
- Addressing the DevOps compliance problem
Making it easier for US federal government projects to run more agile, if not “cloud native.”
Source: 18F: Cloud platform authorization coming in November
I’m giving a 90 minute overview of agile for an agency later this month. Here’s my slides, so far. As ever, “government” is just an extra layer of sprinkles on-top of advice for all large organizations.
There’s some extensive (for me) talking points in the slide notes if you’re into that kind of thing.
I’m often asked to come speak on, well, the topic of “tell us about the new, interesting stuff out there that makes software development better…but don’t be pitching me anything.” This is my most recent cut at that kind of talk.
You can check out the slides as well.
See these slides and the government edition of them too. This presentation changes slightly each time I give it. Here’s the first, rehearsal run of it as well.