2016 Predictions: Digital Government, Data Lakes to Cure Cancer, and the Fall of the Federal Data Center

Karen DelPrete

Karen DelPrete

Director, Federal Marketing

EMC’s Jeremy Burton recently posted his predictions for 2016. He focuses on how our digital way of life will increasingly transform the world and the nature of business. Many of these trends are likewise playing out in Federal agencies – with the goal to enable faster, more responsive, and more cost-effective citizen services. How do the predictions impact Federal IT? Thoughts on a few:

  • Prediction: Digital Government Moves Into the Corner Office: There are still just a handful of Federal Chief Data Officers (CDOs), working to help their organization leverage data as an asset. This year, they will focus on working to overcome cultural and political barriers. We will see their ranks grow, and they will serve as change agents – supporting the efforts of CIOs under increased pressure to demonstrate the impact and value of IT purchasing decisions
  • Prediction: Wearables Win Olympic Gold: The U.S. military is already out in front on sensors – using them to track the health of everything, from complex avionics systems to solider health and readiness. They know that the key is the ability to analyze and act on the data. We will see continued government leadership related to pulling data together into data lakes and executing advanced analytics to extract insights, including around medical research. In fact, Vice President Biden just put improved data sharing at the center of a government-led initiative to cure cancer. While this won’t be complete in 2016, we will see steps in the right direction
  • Prediction: Software Eats the Car: In the Federal market, we will continue to watch software eat the data center. Despite the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI), by the end of 2015, Federal data centers grew to 11,700 – up from 9,000 in 2014. But, FITARA has made FDCCI law, and Federal CIOs will now be held accountable. We will see increased focus on application rationalization, shared services, and software-defined technology that enables flexibility, cost savings, and improved IT resource utilization

As we wrap up the first month of 2016, it’s a good time for a pulse check. Check out Jeremy Burton’s full list of 2016 Predictions and let us know which you feel will impact the Federal market in the year ahead.

Diving Into The Perfect Storm

Audie Hittle

Audie Hittle

Federal CTO, Emerging Technologies Division, EMC Corporation

New mission requirements. New future-focused legislation (FITARA). The push to digital and increasingly citizen-centric government.

While the intentions are good, we all know that the waves of change are not easy to ride.

Legacy technology, silos of information, and entrenched processes can hold (and have held) agencies back. But, many believe real progress is on the horizon.

At EMC’s recent Federal Forum in Washington, D.C., Environmental Protection Agency CIO, Ann Dunkin, shared thoughts about the path forward, noting, “I believe a confluence of recent events – the passing of FITARA, the renewed focus on cyber security, and the rise of digital services have created a perfect storm that enables CIOs to transform the way their agencies and departments design, develop, and deliver IT services.”

She adds, “FITARA, for us, is more than a layer of process but a way to fundamentally change our organization and our culture.”

The next day, I moderated a panel of Federal IT leaders at the MeriTalk Big Data Brainstorm Conference, with Maureen Ellenberger, Department of Veterans Affairs; Dr. Jason Matheny, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity; and Karen Neuman, Department of Homeland Security. We explored the power of predictive analytics, information and data governance, and the broader operational possibilities of Big Data. A few key thoughts from the panel:

  • Big Data analytics is helping agencies use data better, more efficiently, and in a way that is more privacy protective
  • There is an enormous opportunity to use Big Data for cyber defense and help forecast cyber-attacks before they occur
  • Although challenging, the collaboration and sharing of Big Data among industry and government is key to mutual success

At EMC, we are very focused on how to operationalize change. We believe the underlying technology foundation is an enterprise hybrid cloud – bringing on-premise and secure off-premise cloud services together. An innovative concept which unites and leverages the hybrid cloud is the data lake. The data lake lets you bring your disparate information resources together to:

  • Consolidate: Eliminate silos, reduce costs, and simplify
  • Optimize: Increase efficiency and optimize resources
  • Analyze: Leverage Big Data analytics to gain insight

EMC has just announced a new, expanded Data Lake that brings even greater security and resiliency, true non-disruptive operations, and more powerful enterprise features that enable agencies to optimize storage at the core of the data lake, extend their data lake to edge locations, and extend their data lake to the cloud. They can then integrate Isilon on-premise storage with cloud services from a choice of cloud providers, and gain new efficiency by embracing the cloud as an archiving storage tier for cold data.

This new and expanded data lake foundation brings new opportunities to explore applications for greater operational flexibility, resiliency, and efficiency.

Learn more here, or ping me at @CTOAudie to schedule time to explore further.

EMC Customer Recognized for Excellence

Barry Morris

Barry Morris

Vice President, EMC Federal Division
Barry Morris, Vice President of EMC’s Federal Division, is responsible for general division management, providing leadership and vision to the Federal team, government contractors and partners, and Federal systems integrators. In this role, he is dedicated to helping agencies redefine IT in a more agile, trusted, and cost-efficient way. Morris brings 30 years of experience driving sales to the Federal government, and expanding coverage into the state and local government, education, and medical markets.

The ACT-IAC Excellence.gov Awards honor exceptional government programs and projects that use IT to improve services to citizens, enhance government operations, and provide a more open and transparent government.

Proud to share that the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) RESolution team was named the overall winner of the 2015 Excellence.gov Awards. ORNL, the largest science and energy laboratory within the U.S. Department of Energy, was recognized for its Research Enterprise Solution (RESolution) Project.

Run on virtualized EMC hardware, RESolution is built to directly support the researcher workflow – enabling the integration of multiple new technologies into a seamless user experience.

RESolution offers streamlined, one-stop access to ORNL data from the underlying LOB systems – reducing the daily hassle of IT, providing a single pane of glass for researchers to access business data, and allowing researchers to be productive anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

Benefits over the traditional scientific workflow approach include:

  • One-Stop Shopping – Instead of having to leverage 50+ separate legacy systems, researchers get a single pane of glass for managing research related tasks
  • Bureaucracy Reduction – RESolution seeks to reduce administrative burden from 40% of time to 30% of time, generating $140M/year in productivity improvements for ORNL scientists. This is done by streamlining processes, consolidating info into one place, and making work related items easier to find
  • Mobility – All screens and modules in RESolution are optimized for mobile devices allowing scientists to be productive anywhere, anytime, and on any device (including personal BYOD devices)
  • User Experience – Beautiful and elegant UI that was designed specifically for researchers. It is believed that RESolution will provide ORNL a competitive advantage in attracting, recruiting, and retaining the best scientific minds through delivery of a world-class IT experience
  • Agility – The overlay architecture will allow ORNL to modernize and value engineer the underlying business systems without impacting RESolution. This gives ORNL faster time to value for the productivity improvements while also creating a bridge to future savings via underlying system consolidation and modernization

As a result of this innovation, more than 50 systems were integrated.

Congratulations to the ORNL RESolution team for their accomplishments.

Honoring Our Veterans – Today and Every Day

Barry Morris

Barry Morris

Vice President, EMC Federal Division
Barry Morris, Vice President of EMC’s Federal Division, is responsible for general division management, providing leadership and vision to the Federal team, government contractors and partners, and Federal systems integrators. In this role, he is dedicated to helping agencies redefine IT in a more agile, trusted, and cost-efficient way. Morris brings 30 years of experience driving sales to the Federal government, and expanding coverage into the state and local government, education, and medical markets.

As one of the 11 founding member companies of the Veteran Jobs Mission – a coalition of 200+ companies committed to hire 100,000 veterans by 2020 – EMC actively supports our nation’s veterans. Earlier this year, we were honored to be voted a “Best for Vets: Employer 2015” by Military Times for veteran recruiting, our policies related to veterans and their families, and our overall culture. And on Veterans Day this year, November 11, GI Jobs once again recognized EMC as a Military Friendly employer and as a top Military Friendly Company in the Technology industry.

As part of EMC’s Veteran’s Day observance,  I was one of four executives at four EMC locations – Hopkinton, MA; McLean, VA; Apex, NC; and Ogden, UT, who was given the honor of signing an Employee Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Statement of Support. This document highlights key tenets of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). This Act establishes rights and responsibilities for uniformed service members and their civilian employers. EMC VeTS – an employee-run diversity circle made up of hundreds of Veterans, spouses, family members, and Veteran supporters – used the opportunity to highlight EMC’s commitment “Above and Beyond” USERRA requirements. EMC’s policy works to “reduce the financial and career disruption caused by a call to active military duty” by continuing to pay employees their base salary, less pay received from the government, for up to 18 months of active military service.

Attendees at the McLean, Virginia ceremony witnessed the power of the policy firsthand as I signed the Statement of Support, and presented EMC Command Coins to the family of an EMC employee who is currently serving in the US Army National Guard.

ESGR Signing Ceremony

(Left to Right) Brad Johnson, Aidan Leseman, Trisha Leseman, Lewis Brodsky ESGR, Barry Morris (VP EMC Federal), Alex Leseman

The ESGR signing ceremony was just one of many ways EMC has taken an extra step to recognize current and former Military workforce. EMC VeTS turned Veterans Day into a week-long event by organizing Veteran themed “Give Back” events within local communities. As Brad Johnson, President of EMC VeTS, pointed out during the event, “EMC recognizes the commitment, technical acumen, and leadership skills that are ingrained in our Veterans – transferrable skills that mesh with EMC’s culture. EMC will continue to promote the hiring, mentoring, and advancement of Veterans – not only within our workforce but our communities as well.”

As an EMC employee, I am proud to be part of a company that takes real steps to support veterans and their families.

To all those who serve and have served, thank you from everyone at EMC.

Read more about EMC’s participation as well as ESGR’ program in the ESGR announcement.

EMC employees can read more about EMC VeTS initiatives at: https://inside.emc.com/community/active/diversity/veterans-their-supporters

Power Platform: Hybrid Cloud Drives Digital IT

Barry Morris

Barry Morris

Vice President, EMC Federal Division
Barry Morris, Vice President of EMC’s Federal Division, is responsible for general division management, providing leadership and vision to the Federal team, government contractors and partners, and Federal systems integrators. In this role, he is dedicated to helping agencies redefine IT in a more agile, trusted, and cost-efficient way. Morris brings 30 years of experience driving sales to the Federal government, and expanding coverage into the state and local government, education, and medical markets.

I’ve heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting a different outcome. If that’s the case, I think Feds have finally come to their senses – the Federal IT community has shown enthusiasm for IT reform.

According to a recent study, 79% of Feds believe FITARA, a new law designed to give Federal CIOs more power, will have an overall positive effect on the value of their agency’s IT.

Other efforts, such as FedRAMP and the Digital Services Playbook, aim to consolidate standardized approaches and best practices for the Federal government to follow.

But, as we all know, there is more work to do. Federal agencies spend 80% of their budget on O&M for legacy systems, making it difficult to digitize processes, personalize experiences, and innovate at a quick pace.

Hybrid cloud is emerging as a key component of the path forward. As I wrote earlier this year, creating flexible, hybrid infrastructures that can connect on-premise legacy infrastructure with cloud infrastructures is going to be important for every Federal mission – especially as we move towards a digitized future.

Cruise to the Cloud

In addition to providing the speed and agility of public cloud services and the control and security of private cloud infrastructure, hybrid cloud adoption is driven by three key forces:

  • The nature of digital IT itself – Technology advances have raised expectations, and organizations must be able to meet those demands
  • The imperative to become and remain agile – Digital IT is a permanent commitment to work differently, adapt quickly, and iterate faster. This requires an agile platform, such as hybrid cloud
  • Cost reduction – Moving to hybrid cloud can reduce IT operating expenses by 24%

Hybrid cloud automation dramatically reduces the amount of labor needed to deploy new application software, and to monitor, operate, and make adjustments to the infrastructure – delivering significant cost savings. And, an opportunity to redirect those savings into newer, more innovative efforts.

Overall, hybrid cloud drives digital IT while lowering cost and raising agility – all factors needed to give citizens what they want, when they want, on whatever device they want – quickly and easily and with personalized service.

To learn more on the topic, please check out this blog post from David Goulden, CEO, EMC Information Infrastructure.