Like commercial enterprises, government agencies have a need for technology as well. Some of the more obvious areas that governments differ from commercial enterprises include:
Typically stricter regulatory compliance;
The scale of the amount of data;
The breath of coordination (thus project management) required between agencies; and
The need to provide security that go far beyond the needs of a commercial enterprise.
So it comes as no surprise, that most of the exhibitors at FOSE fell
into the areas of:
Records & information management; and
And, despite the general perception that government agencies are very slow to adopt changes, it was comforting to see interest by vendors (driven by government agency demands) to exhibit products in the areas of:
Cloud & virtualization;
Big Data & business intelligence.
As mentioned above in the Current Overview, there were a number of expected exhibitors, and a smaller number of next generation exhibitors.
One thing that stood out given that Neuralytix does not regularly cover the government space, was the lack of system integrators. The exhibitors were predominantly offering point solutions. The government obviously are well aware of the main government integrators, the top five according to Wikipedia ((http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_100_Contractors_of_the_U.S._federal_government)) being:
But what was not so evident were smaller integrators. There were a couple of booths, but not many.
One of the challenges for government agencies to catch up with the private sector will be its ability to adapt and adopt technology quickly. Already, there are clear disgruntled citizens who find the government overall, very slow to embrace the changing landscape of technology’s impact on society.
In his keynote speech, Steven VanRoekel, the CIO for the United States used the following as an illustration of the vast changes in technologies over an eight year span:
Notice the flip phone at the bottom right hand corner, to the right of the young lady looking back at the camera.
Only eight years later:
This second picture, from the same angle is on the evening of the inaugural appearance by Pope Francis after his installation as the new Pope.
In just eight years, VanRoekel noted, what we consider as ordinary (millions of cell phones, and tablets being used as a proxy for the traditional camera), versus the very small handful of phones that could even take a decent picture back in 2005, shows how quickly technology has changed.
In his keynote, VanRoekel continued on to advise government agencies at all levels of government to look at technologies such as the cloud. With his own background in the private sector (he was previously a senior executive at Microsoft), he is now encouraging the public sector to adopt best practices that mirror those in the private sector.
Neuralytix believes that when governments treat IT the same way the private sector does, it will give governments a competitive edge, not only in the military, but also at the civilian level, to improve services to our citizens, and enable faster, better, and more efficient information exchange between all levels of government, and the citizens it serves.