Intelligence community gets its own app store

The Bridge program makes it easy for innovators to work with government agencies

Web 2.0 technology makes it possible for federal agencies to collaborate better internally, but the biggest benefit for government could be using the technology to communicate with people outside government, according to experts at the Open Government and Innovations Conference today.

"The trick for any organization, including the government, is there are always more innovators outside your organization than inside," said Dan Doney, collaboration and analyst system effectiveness program lead in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

"No matter how well-funded, there are always better ideas outside than inside," Doney said. "So the real question for government is how do you tap into the great ideas, knowledge and expertise that's outside of your walls?”

ODNI is reaching outside its walls with a program launched in March named Bridge, an unclassified virtual environment in which technology providers can develop applications.

Bridge provides a way for analysts and technologists to work together to develop new capabilities. It is similar to Apple's App Store for the iPhone, Doney said.

"The crucial piece of the App Store that makes it so successful is there is a very low barrier to entry," Doney said. "Apple created a nice stable platform that is very easy for developers to innovate against, making it very easy for them to contribute their applications to end users."

Bridge follows a similar model, he said. It provides an easy way for people to develop ideas and market those ideas to potential users.

Federal Computer Week's owner, 1105 Government Information Group, sponsors the conference.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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