Kolcun: Software 2.0

Microsoft and others can no longer dictate how organizations will use their software

We’re at the beginning of a new era that will shape how the government thinks about software in the enterprise. The next decade will be one of software transformation marked by new ways of using technology to meet the government’s mission.

There’s been a lot of talk recently about an emerging category of software, commonly referred to as on-demand software or software as a service. However, software of the future will not favor one delivery model over the other. We will see a hybrid model of software plus services. That model will seamlessly combine the best of desktop PC, Internet and Web, mission-critical enterprise, and mobile computing experiences.

Government chief information officers and their information technology organizations deliver great software services to their enterprise users. Examples include messaging services and directory services, which span the vast government enterprise. Microsoft continues to transform its platform and product offerings to support the delivery of those services and enable the government to take advantage of Internet-scale solutions delivered via commercial networks.

Agencies have a choice of how they want those software services delivered to their employees. Those options fall into three key areas.

  • Cloud-based services. These are capabilities, typically delivered via the Internet, that take advantage of the scale of Internet-based commercial data centers to provide software solutions and a Web platform on which to build custom applications. For example, several companies today offer geospatial Web services solutions to customers via the commercial Internet.

  • Managed hosted services. This approach typically accommodates current government solutions and investments while providing agencies the security, scale and cost effectiveness necessary to meet their pressing demands. These hosted services reside outside government data centers. Commercial companies that have been accredited for meeting government security and regulatory requirements provide the services.

  • On-premises services. This option is the traditional software service delivery model in which government data centers and IT organizations provide solutions. This software services delivery model provides the customization, security and control that enable an organization to tailor its solutions to meet the needs of the agency and its users.

Software plus services offers the government an unprecedented degree of flexibility. It provides a foundation for cross-agency collaboration and integrating existing systems capabilities and new capabilities via Web services standards.

If we reflect on how far the software industry has come and where it is going, we realize that now is an exciting time. The past decade has been about embracing the Internet revolution. The coming decade will be about embracing the Web services revolution and working side-by-side with government customers to help them maximize the opportunities that come with software plus services.

Kolcun is vice president of Microsoft Federal.

Rising Stars

Meet 21 early-career leaders who are doing great things in federal IT.


  • SEC Chairman Jay Clayton

    SEC owns up to 2016 breach

    A key database of financial information was breached in 2016, possibly in support of insider trading, said the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DOD looks to get aggressive about cloud adoption

    Defense leaders and Congress are looking to encourage more aggressive cloud policies and prod reluctant agencies to embrace experimentation and risk-taking.

  • Shutterstock / Pictofigo

    The next big thing in IT procurement

    Steve Kelman talks to the agencies that have embraced tech demos in their acquisition efforts -- and urges others in government to give it a try.

  • broken lock

    DHS bans Kaspersky from federal systems

    The Department of Homeland Security banned the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab’s products from federal agencies in a new binding operational directive.

  • man planning layoffs

    USDA looks to cut CIOs as part of reorg

    The Department of Agriculture is looking to cut down on the number of agency CIOs in the name of efficiency and better communication across mission areas.

  • What's next for agency cyber efforts?

    Ninety days after the Trump administration's executive order, FCW sat down with agency cyber leaders to discuss what’s changing.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group