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IPIC... day 1

Sorry for bunching up a number of posts. I have been typing away during sessions when I can, but... This is a busy conference. It starts early in the morning and goes until the end of the day. Yes, it seems all well and good, but it makes it difficult to keep people at the sessions. I had to cut away for some sessions so I could answer e-mail and get some other stuff done. I'm sure others are in a similar situation.

Anyway, some highlights from Monday at IPIC here in Orlando:

* The day starts with OMB chief architect Dick Burk followed by DOD CIO John Grimes. We always say this is a small world and a small community, but Grimes (and Burk later confirmed) that this is the first time that the two of them have me. How is that possible?

* Grimes said that DOD is being hacked and attacked all the time – and it is costing a lot of money. The agency has seen a 250 percent increase in targeted malware incidents against the department. One of the most publicized was when hackers took down the National Defense University's network. But other Army sites have been taken down, and Grimes said the agency has spent almost $60 million getting those sites back online

* DOD's number one security concern: Protecting "data at rest." It is a term that not everybody fully understands. I number of vendors came up and asked me what 'data at rest' meant. I'm not totally sure, but I believe it refers to data that isn't... well, in motion. The VA stolen laptop situation I believe is an example of data at rest. (The VA CIO said there were a dozen CD-ROMs.) Here is the definition from WhatIs.com.

* Grimes got the mostly industry group buzzing by saying that industry better get on board with the new way DOD is going to be doing business. "Some large contractors ... better start to change their strategies" because DOD is changing its buying model. He didn't elaborate and I didn't have a chance to catch him, but I am assuming it goes back to the 'era of system integrators is over' story that we ran earlier this year. Integrators weren't that thrilled.

* Grimes got hoots of support when he said that DOD should do a better job with its RFPs by reducing the amount of paper. Be clear and concise, he said.

* Grimes also praised Al Gore, calling him "the guy who invented the Internet" for his initiatives to reinvent government.

* Globalization on the mind… One of the worries at DOD is globalization and the increasing foreign ownership of companies doing government work. He said that DOD had an "event" when a subcontractor for a prime apparently embedded some kind of vulnerability into DOD software. It is a concern when more and more of the IT work is being done overseas.

* H. Ross… Yes, Ross Perot was one of the keynote speakers. When I told people back home that he was speaking, the response was often, 'Is he still around.' Well, yes. And he got a standing ovation here at IPIC. His talk was mostly about leadership, but his charm is his folksiness.

* And guess who isn't running for president? No, not Perot either. During Perot's question period, Dan Matthews, vice president of government relations at Lockheed Martin, asked, "The only two people who haven't announced (they are running for president) are me and you…" Perot immediately turned the question. "Well, you've got the microphone. Go ahead." There was no announcement, so we can only assume that we will have to put away our "Matthews for President" signs.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Mar 07, 2007 at 12:16 PM


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