DorobekInsider.com

Focusing on six words: Helping government do its job better

DorobekINSIDER: GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week: cyber-security innovation

with one comment

It was a difficult week to find a single topic that defined the week.As always, our goal with GovLoop Insights Issue of the Weekis to look at an issue — a person — an idea — then helped define the past 7-days… but we also work to find a topic that also will have an impact on the days, weeks and months ahead. And, as always, we focus on six words: helping you do your job better.I was at the 21th annual Executive Leadership Conference, hosted by the American Council on Technology and the Industry Advisory Council, took place last week in Williamsburg, VA. And I helped to lead an UNsession talking about government innovation. (I’m still looking for your thoughts: How would you finish the sentence: “I can help government innovation by…” I’d love to hear what you think.)In the end, we decided to talk about innovation… and to close out Cyber-Security Awareness Month… by talking about cyber-security innovation.

But first… a quick review of the other stories that were news for the last week of October…

We start with the technology story of the week… which was… the first speech [PDF] by the new federal CIO, Steve VanRoekel. Unfortunately he didn’t speak to an audience of government executives — the 21st annual Executive Leadership Conference was going on this week. VanRoekel decided to speak to an audience in California — specifically, at Palo Alto’s storied PARC headquarters.

That aside, it was the federal CIO’s first speech since he took that post nearly three months ago. And he stressed that his focus will be to drive innovation in government and make investments in technology that better serve the American people.

He detailed specific initiatives inside each of the administration’s focus areas — maximizing IT return on investment, improving citizen and business interaction with agencies, closing the so-called productivity gap and cybersecurity.

I’ll have a round-up of stories about the speech soon on DorobekINSIDER.

Staying in technology… what are the challenges facing state technology executives? The National Association of State CIOs has just published its annual list of the strategies, management processes and solutions [PDF]. Topping the list — it will be no surprise to you: consolidation — and I would add, doing more with less. Number two is budget and cost controls. Security comes in at number six… and mobile comes in at number 10.

The top tech priority for state CIOs, according to NASCIO: virtualization.
Read full list [PDF]GovLoop is also asking you for your thoughts about the priorities and technologies that will help you do your job.

Our management story of the week… well, it also involves technology… it’s the ongoing troubles with the government’s job site: USAJobs.gov. We’ve told you over the weeks that the Office of Personnel Management rolled out a brand new version of USA-Jobs, but the new site has been plagued with problems. The Washington Post reports that the site would crash repeatedly, error messages popped up over and over, résumés disappeared, passwords were obliterated. In some cases, it even got geography wrong. Searches for Delaware, for example, turning up jobs in Germany. And Federal Computer Week notes those problems were having an impact. An analysis indicates that the number of resumes coming in through the new site is at least 60 percent less than the earlier version. And now lawmakers are asking the federal CIO to step in to help.

In gov 2.0 news… The Department of Veterans Affairs named RelayHealth as the winner of its “Blue Button for All Americans” contest. The Blue Button allows veterans across the country to download their health data. Even better: McKesson’s RelayHealth announced that it is donating the $50,000 prize to the Wounded Warrior Project, which supports programs that assist injured Servicemembers, Veterans and their families. Awesome — all the way around!

Our budget story of the week… is, of course, the super-committee, which is facing a deadline just before Thanksgiving to make its recommendations on cuts. And there is a lot of back-and-fourth fighting going on. At the Executive Leadership Conference this week, a congressional staffer suggested that agencies should expect significant budget cuts. We’ll continue to watch it, of course.

And four recommendations for some reading this weekend…

One from the Harvard Business Review about government start-ups… Government “start-ups” — new agencies, offices, or initiatives — have the potential to be a powerful tool for solving critical policy problems at the local, state, and federal levels. But while creating the “new and the nimble” within an established bureaucracy is a well-known art form in the private sector, governments are still struggling to do it effectively. Read more — we have the link online.

FastCompany has the story about the Silicon Valley’s new hiring strategy for IT: NOT hiring PhDs.

And are you having trouble finding the right person for the right job? In the Wall Street Journal, this week, a piece on why companies are facing the same challenge.

Finally, social media experts… some feel uncomfortable with that title. The EPA’s Jeffrey Levey explains on GovLoop.

But the GovLoop Issue of the Week… the end of October also marks the end of cyber-security awareness month… and this week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Washington Post that she spends a considerable amount of time dealing with cybersecurity threats, including potential attacks on the nation’s infrastructure. (Video)

This week, the Security Innovation Network was holding a conference in Washington assessing ways to help solve the challenges facing government — and there are many of them, and they have been evolving quickly. Robert Rodriguez is the chairman and Managing Principal of the Security Innovation Network. He tells me that things are changing in the age of austerity…

Written by cdorobek

October 29, 2011 at 3:36 PM

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] difficult launch of the updated version of USAJobs — the federal jobs Web site that has been plagued with problems. At the Government Learning conference this week sponsored by American Society for Training & […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: