Risky business

As the six case studies in this special report show, homeland security-related information technology projects come in many shapes and sizes. There are regional emergency alert networks, first responder communication systems, federal data-mining programs, law enforcement data-sharing systems and many more. The systems can involve one agency or multiple ones, focus on a single discipline or span several, and

use technologies that range from conventional to cutting-edge.

It is also true that not every IT project is a success, a fact often abundantly clear given the high visibility of most government programs and the extra scrutiny a nervous nation directs to homeland security initiatives in particular.

So what are the factors that determine whether a project succeeds or fails, and what are the best ways to manage those risks? The purpose of this special report is to address those questions by taking a closer look at the lessons learned in a handful of projects.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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