Military Health – From Volume to Value

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 digital world is driving us to act as both patients and consumers of healthcare information. For example – wearable devices, such as Fitbits, provide users with personalized data and the insight required to make more informed lifestyle decisions.

At the same time, healthcare providers are shifting to value-based care – from “pay per pill” to “pay for performance” and “pay for outcomes” while working to meet meaningful use goals. Comprehensive patient and population health data, and data collection opportunities enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) can provide opportunities for healthcare providers – including military – to attain new insights and deliver the best care possible.

In a recent article in Health IT Analytics, EMC’s Roberta Katz writes, “In the current accountable care environment, where electronic health record documentation is being prioritized, this new realm of patient generated data can build on a caregiver’s clinical expertise and augment hospital protocols…With the use of IoT tools and sensors, we can review our own data in real-time, from the number of steps we are taking, cardio output, sleep cycles, blood pressure, and even mood, to become an ‘empowered’ patient.”

Working toward a transformative goal to achieve, among others, the results stated by Katz show that the Military Health System (MHS) is undergoing a disruptive application migration from the current system (AHLTA) to the new Cerner-based MHS GENESIS – targeted for launch at the end of this year. Their goal: the ability to share health records electronically and document the complete continuum of care between MHS locations, private providers, and possibly Veteran Affairs.

Centralized data collection and analysis can provide a picture otherwise impossible to obtain – bringing together disparate information that alone does not raise an alert, but pulled together, can signal a need for intervention.

EMC is proud to participate in the Defense Health Information Technology Symposium (DHITS) 2016 on August 2-4 – and will focus on supporting the MHS Transformation. Please visit us at booth 401 to learn more about how Big Data analytics and data lakes are transforming military health.

For additional information, check out:

Technology Foundation for the Modern Data Center

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 we know, the digital universe is growing 40% every year – which means the volume of data agencies collect, store, and manage will only continue to grow. Between all the video captured via body-worn cameras, wearables that track health data, and sensors on military equipment, data quickly piles up.

At the same time, as the volume, variety, and velocity of data is skyrocketing, FITARA has strengthened the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI). This enables agencies to work on automating service delivery and adopt “Cloud First” policies – leveraging inter-agency shared services or co-location data centers. Most importantly, it allows agencies to migrate to better-optimized data centers.

The savings potential is enormous. A GAO report on data consolidation progress earlier this year noted an estimated $2.8 billion in cost savings and avoidances from fiscal years 2011 to 2015. But just four agencies, the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, and Treasury, accounted for about $2.4 billion – or approximately 86% – of the total savings to date.

There is more work to be done. By the end of fiscal year 2019, agencies plan to close 2,078 additional data centers, for an estimated $8.2 billion in savings and cost avoidances. To accomplish this goal, we need to transform the remaining data centers into modern data centers.

Makings of the Modern Data Center

At EMC, we are helping organizations create new ways to build and deliver IT services. IT must deliver performance and resiliency – and not slow the business down. A modern data center will enable this, and more.

We believe the modern data center is based on a number of key technology components:

  • Flash – Will be the top storage method; in fact, 2016 has been declared the “year of all-flash.” Due to its affordability, agility, efficiency, and speed, flash storage delivers the performance needed for next-generation applications
  • Cloud-enabled – Provides the automation and agility needed for seamless IT service. Hybrid cloud is emerging as a key component in moving forward with digital transformation
  • Scale-out – Enables a flexible, single scale-out system that allows management of massive capacities with few resources. A Data Lake allows Big Data accessibility, and meets the demands of storage growth
  • Software-defined – Allows automation of the configuration and deployment of IT services for simple management of data services. Software-defined solutions optimize IT operations, and allow room for innovation

Let’s Get Started

The future will have more data, leading to an increased need for real time operation and analytics insights.

As Jeremy Burton said, “If an organization is to operate with the agility, speed, and efficiency required of the digital era, its IT department must deliver a modern data center built upon technologies that can enable it.”

To learn more about the modern data center, check out Jeremy Burton’s recent blog post on the topic:  The Pillars of the Modern Data Center.

Big Data & Predictive Analytics – Get Involved

Audie Hittle

Audie Hittle

Federal CTO, Emerging Technologies Division, EMC Corporation

I recently participated in the AIE TTC Big Data and Predictive Analytics Symposium, and shared my thoughts on “Mitigating Cybersecurity Operations Risk – Leveraging Intelligent Data Storage,” immediately following keynote speaker, Dr. Jason Matheny, Director, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA).

Dr. Matheny discussed his organization’s perspectives, investment approach, and latest initiatives – delineating plenty of opportunities for companies like EMC to proactively get involved with proposing or teaming on leading-edge projects that in some cases transition directly into Federal operations.

Keynote speaker Rear Admiral Paul Becker, Special Assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence, kicked-off the event with an insightful Big Data discussion. He connected the dots on how Big Data supports the Naval Intelligence mission, and touched on the urgent need for Big Data analytics to help make sense of all the data. He also emphasized the importance of predictive analytics – being able to anticipate what will happen, versus simply having analytics that confirm what has happened, is critical for Federal agencies.

He stated that a major challenge with Big Data analytics in the intelligence community is that the volume of data can skew and distort the assessment by emphasizing collection and analysis on the most visible versus the most important data – a key distinction.

Colonel Linda Jantzen, Acting Director, Army CIO/G6 Architecture and Integration Center, highlighted the mission critical aspects of detection and resolution of cyber threats. Working with the intelligence community on Big Data integration, human capital modeling and simulation, and suicide prevention, she covered a wide spectrum of Big Data and analytics applications. This echoed what I heard when I recently met with the U.S. Air Force CIO, Lieutenant General Bill Bender, regarding the emphasis on cybersecurity, the importance of the “data lake” for eliminating data silos, and the emphasis on Big Data analytics to support nearly all operations and services.

Additional government and industry guest speakers from distinguished organizations were in attendance; including the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), USAF Distributed Common Ground Systems (DCGS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM). Each delivered insightful overviews and passionate pleas for assistance from industry.

These Federal organizations highlighted the needs and opportunities for Big Data and analytics applications, and opened their doors for engagements directly with industry for a dialogue to explore.

The bottom line? There are many opportunities ahead for public/private collaboration, and working together will accelerate new ideas, new solutions, and new ways to use data to achieve a mission advantage.

Team FITARA – Will IT Make the Grade? Will You?

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.

FITARA’s second round of agency self-assessments is due at the end of this month. With the last scorecard showing much room for improvement, will agencies make the grade this time?

What’s still needed to help make FITARA successful? While CIOs are working to address governance and visibility issues internally, industry partners are considering how they can support the efforts with better tools and services.

Progress is going to take cooperation. If you remember, the final magical play of the NCAA championship game wasn’t just a great 3-pointer from a star player – it was all about the pass, the setup. A team effort, as is FITARA.

EMC’s Jean Edwards recently spoke at MeriTalk’s FITARA Forum. The panel discussed industry-government collaboration and how FITARA can drive real change across the Federal government.

Give Me An “A”

On the panel “Better Acquisition. Better Services. Lower Costs. What More?” Jean and industry colleagues discussed the acquisition components of FITARA – why they receive the least amount of attention, why acquisition challenges contribute to difficulty retaining IT talent – and the steps agencies should be taking as they make progress implementing FITARA guidance.

More specifically, Jean discussed the positive impact FITARA is bringing to Federal government. In fact, a recent study found positive FITARA feedback from Feds.

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FITARA gives CIOs increased authority – therefore, it is requiring individuals from industry and government to communicate. We live in a digital universe – with data growing 40% every year, it is critical for industry and government to work together. However, if this data isn’t shared or communicated properly, then it’s nearly impossible to solve issues together.

To make FITARA work, we must understand that it is not just the CIO’s responsibility. FITARA is a team sport. Every level must try to determine what the real challenges are, and simplify the processes as much as possible. Working together is the key to agency success.

Front and Center: The Encryption Debate

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.

This week, Amit Yoran, President, RSA, testified before the United States House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on an Oversight and Investigations hearing entitled, “Deciphering the Debate Over Encryption: Industry and Law Enforcement Perspectives.”

This is a complex issue – the hearing raised many important points. Law enforcement needs to be able to prosecute crimes, and on the other hand, we must preserve our nation’s security, privacy, and economic competitiveness.

Amit Yoran testified that creating “back doors” in all encryption is not only impossible to achieve, but it also would have the unintended consequence of fundamentally weakening the security of the Internet infrastructure we all rely on –  impacting both national security and public safety.

In his blog published this week, he wrote, “Good encryption is the fundamental building block for good cyber security; without the availability of good encryption, those defending vital U.S. networks and systems would be at a massive disadvantage. Exceptional access increases complexity and introduces new vulnerabilities we may have yet to fully understand.”

He also noted that the negative impacts of such a policy would affect tech companies, and every industry, including our critical infrastructure, power and utilities, automotive, manufacturing, healthcare, legal, banking, and financial industries.

We can’t look at this debate as a privacy vs. security question. We need both – and to move the discussion forward, we need continued collaboration between law enforcement and the technology community.

Please read Amit Yoran’s blog on the hearing and find a link to the testimony, here:  http://blogs.rsa.com/deciphering-the-debate-over-encryption/