Surveying the federal IT landscape

The president of the new Hewlett-Packard Co. surveyed the federal information technology scene this week at the Air Force IT Conference in Montgomery, Ala.

HP's Michael Capellas, in an interview with Federal Computer Week following his keynote address Aug. 26, said he sees three big trends dominating the federal IT landscape:

* The government's desire to implement total solutions with fewer strategic partners.

* Greater interagency collaboration — a direct result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

* A broader interpretation of technical specifications in the procurement process, enabling vendors to do more creative and innovative work.

Capellas also said he expects a "huge rebound in supercomputing," especially within the military, which is a leader in using the technology for pattern recognition, as well as simulations, particularly for weather and weapons systems.

"What we're talking is advanced simulations, simulating cause and effect," Capellas said. "We can simulate a nuclear test without having to run it," which saves time, money and the environment. "We create massively parallel systems — because conventional computing is great, but it can't do simulations."

Enormous potential also exists for government and industry to collaborate on integrating computing and imaging, he said. Applying imaging to homeland security, command and control and other areas is "so practical" and will be the next generation of computing, Capellas said.

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