Tech refresh bills will be back, says DHS CIO

IT modernization funding efforts will be back, according to DHS CIO Luke McCormack, and agencies should still position agile, cloud and other capabilities to show they're moving into a modern environment.

Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.
 

Even though an IT reform bill that promised billions for agencies to spruce up their operations didn't make it through Congress, the need to create some kind of fund to help agencies modernize their aging IT infrastructures isn't going away and CIOs had better stick to their preparations to dip into it, said the CIO of the Department of Homeland Security.

"The [IT Modernization Fund legislation] will resurface," DHS CIO Luke McCormack said, even though the most recent effort to provide a revolving multibillion IT modernization fund stalled in the Senate after passing in the House of Representatives in September on a voice vote.

The Modernizing Government Technology Act authorized agencies to reprogram funds, with the approval of congressional appropriators, to modernize legacy IT systems. The bill also included a key plank of the Obama administration's ITMF proposal to create a governmentwide revolving fund for high-priority modernization efforts, with agencies paying back advances on IT upgrades through their cost savings.

The plan also called for a board to ensure that an agency applying for funds was approaching the renovation intelligently. That kind of shrewd approach, McCormack said, should guide ongoing modernization efforts and funding opportunities. "I won't dole out funds to an agency that is not prepared to spend it in a modern environment," McCormack said in a speech to Washington Technology's DHS Industry Day event on Dec. 15.

The adoption of cloud services and modular and agile software development techniques would play into whether modernization projects should get funding, McCormack said.

A more modern approach to IT procurement and deployment comes as  millennials work their way into agency workforces, he said. The "jambalaya" mix of millennials and other more traditional workers at DHS is beginning to create a rich stew of technological and managerial approaches.

That mix is contributing to the agency's approach of spreading out new, faster contracting vehicles, such as its $1.5 billion Flexible Agile Support for the Homeland  contract, he said. With such contracts, DHS is looking to small, more agile and non-traditional suppliers for off-the-shelf, shared services or purpose-built services and systems, rather than singular big contracts. "If you're a big integrator, think small," he said.

"The next two to three years, its phones, drones and automobiles," McCormick said. Applications will become more mobile and interconnected as missions among components dictate. "We're a mobile workforce," he said. As such, the agency is beginning to put applications out for mobile platforms before it deploys desktop versions. "That will be standard in the next two to three years," he said.

Components like Customs and Border Protection and the Transportation Security Administration are reorganizing how they acquire systems and services to be able to react more quickly to mission needs.

Mark Borkowski, assistant commissioner and chief acquisition officer at CPB said ongoing organizational change will make buying mission-critical systems more efficient.

Each of CBP's mission elements, from border protection to its trade facilitation operations, is getting a component acquisition executive that can help with issues of acquisitions within that operation.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.