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Quick Hits for Sept. 21

*** Legacy system outages are increasingly the new normal at federal agencies, according to a new CIO survey and report from Accenture. The report, titled Decouple to Innovate, found that 58 percent of CIOs and tech executives reported two or three "major disruptions or outages" over the past decade. Only four percent of respondents reported no outages over the same period.

Dave McClure, an Accenture principal and former leader of the Office of Citizen Services at the General Services Administration, told FCW that while there was new momentum behind the push to drive agency IT modernization – even at the program and executive level outside IT shops – officials still underestimate the time and money it takes to "decouple" data from legacy system and move to modern managed services and cloud-based systems.

"To free up that data to be consumed by more open architecture, by diverse platforms, requires a sort of decoupling" from legacy code and legacy data-tagging schema, McClure said. "That's hard work."

*** Bug bounty management firm HackerOne bagged yet another government contract. The firm won a $2.3 million deal to manage bug bounties for the Technology Transformation Service at GSA, per a posting on FedBizOpps. HackerOne administers bounty programs for the Pentagon: Efforts there have focused on the Air Force and the Army.

*** A group of senators want to see faster progress from the Trump administration on data privacy policy. White House and Commerce Department officials held meetings with private sector stakeholders over the summer with an eye to making policy recommendations to Congress to unify data rules and eliminate the patchwork of state laws governing data privacy. In a Sept. 20 letter, a bipartisan group of senators on the Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection are urging the administration to issue recommendations on data privacy so that Congress can act in a timely fashion to pass legislation. The letter was signed by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).

"My colleagues and I have met with and heard from a variety of stakeholders, academics and consumer advocates on their priorities related to consumer data privacy practices," Moran told FCW via email. "Since the Commerce Department has been in active discussions with similar outside entities, it was necessary to publicly encourage the agency to coordinate with our offices and ensure Congressional involvement in a privacy national framework."

***Clinicomp, the health record software firm that challenged the Department of Veterans Affairs' $10 billion sole source award to Cerner for a replacement for the agency's homegrown Vista system, may be running out of venues for protest. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a lower court ruling tossing out the lawsuit, on the grounds that Clinicomp didn't demonstrate it could have competed to win the electronic health record modernization contract even if it had been opened for bidding.

***The National Institute of Standards and Technology is touting a study that says the agency's Advanced Encryption Standard cryptographic algorithm in use since 2001 has had a $250 billion impact on the economy. Development on AES began in 1996, and from that time to 2017 the effort has paid off $1,976 for every dollar invested by government.

*** Federal Communications Commission leaders are excited about the potential for blazing-fast 5G wireless speeds to transform a range of services and technologies. Republican FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr is excited about the potential of automated vehicles benefiting from 5G as well as telehealth.

"We have a tremendous number of devices now, whether its mobile health applications or smart watches that can do a lot on the telehealth side, but we really need to upgrade our networks to really enable some of that lifesaving technology to truly go to scale," Carr said at a Sept. 20 Politico event.

Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said she's particularly interested in the promise of smart city technology benefiting from 5G and how that technology could improve traffic within a city. "Those are going to have the greatest impact on our day-to-day lives," Rosenworcel said, "and those are the ones we should talk about and those are the ones we should pursue."

Posted on Sep 21, 2018 at 4:11 AM


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