Overheard: Word of the Day

A Whatis.com blog


April 12, 2010  11:26 AM

Overheard talking about MultiSpeak



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
smart grid, standards
MultiSpeak is a schema that establishes a set of standard interface specifications and defines data entities and their attributes. For example, the “Customer” entity has 14 attributes, including: customer first name, last name, home phone number, billing address, and customer id number.

Greg Wolven, WIN Energy: A Case Study in using MultiSpeak to Enable Best of Breed Software Selection

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is MultiSpeak.

WIN Energy chose MultiSpeak as the vehicle to enable a Best of Breed strategy and optimize the way the cooperative does business. WIN Energy can now select the various software technologies that are the best fit for the utility and, as long as the software packages are MultiSpeak compliant, they will function together regardless of software version upgrades. WIN Energy’s first MultiSpeak implementation between its accounting system, NISC’s CAPSXL+, and its automated field staking package, MiniMax’s StakeOut, was both highly successful and its first step towards a truly system-wide approach.

April 12, 2010  10:08 AM

Overheard talking about the 8 principles for Gov 2.0



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
government 2.0, government IT

I really liked the PowerPoint on Transparency and Open Government put together by SanFrancisco’s CIO Chris Vein and CTO Blair Adams. The show is interesting visually and they do a great job documenting how the city/county of SanFrancisco is addressing challenges.

Here are their 8 Principles for Gov 2.0

• Complete
– All public data are made available. Public data are not data
that are subject to valid privacy, security or privilege
limitations

• Primary
– Data are collected at the source, with the finest possible
level of granularity, not in aggregate or modified forms.

• Timely
– Data are made available as quickly as necessary to preserve
the value of the data

• Accessible
– Data are available to the widest range of users for the
widest range of purposes.

• Machine Processable
– Data are reasonably structured to allow automated processing.

• Non-Discriminatory
–Data are available for anyone, with no requirement of
registration.

• Non-Proprietary
–Data are available in a format over which no entity has exclusive
control.

• License-Free
–Data are not subject to any copyright, patent, trademark, or
trade secret regulation. Reasonable privacy, security and privilege
restrictions may be allowed.


April 12, 2010  9:53 AM

Overheard talking about government IT conference trends



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
govenment IT, government IT

Am looking at conferences to see if I can pick out trends.

e.Republic posts speaker slides from their conferences after the event is over.  I think the slides provide an interesting peak behind the curtain.

GTC Southwest: The Texas Digital Government Summit 2010
February 2010

California CIO Academy 2010
February 2010


April 12, 2010  9:30 AM

Overheard talking about government teleworking and telejobs



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
government IT
You can’t telework with paper. We need to get to where we can work on documents on a screen. Did you ever see anyone on ‘Star Trek’ carrying a clipboard? We need to get to a point where there’s no need for a desk except as a place to put your lunch.

Wayne Leiss as quoted in The future of telework technology: A wish list

Wayne Leiss is chief information officer at the Treasury Department’s Office of Thrift Supervision.

Other items on the wish lists of telework managers include:

- The ability to share documents and edit jointly, and large screens to keep the documents readable.
- Better virtual private networks and more use of them.
- A wider array of options for devices, including a range of laptop computer screen sizes.
- Access to applications based on individual needs rather than enterprise-wide delivery.

Security is key. You need two-factor encryption, you need hard drive encryption


April 11, 2010  1:36 PM

Overheard talking about changing the culture in gov’t IT



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
government IT, transparency
sanjee-bhagowalia The previous approach was to protect everything and share what you must. Now the focus is to share everything and protect what you must. But culturally a lot of people were still very uncomfortable with releasing all that data.

Sonny Bhagowalia, as quoted in Sonny Bhagowalia smashes technical, cultural obstacles to sharing government data

Sonny Bhagowalia is the chief information officer at the Interior Department.

We have 24,000 domains in the U.S. government and millions of Web pages. So the idea was to start connecting them and making it easier to find data from all those sites.

Everything we do in our lives is about information and data. I like to say that it’s not about the technology, it’s about the data. And when data is found in context, it becomes information. That whole continuum of data and then information is really where the world is going.


April 11, 2010  1:30 PM

Overheard talking about GSA spending



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
Casey Coleman, government IT, legacy technology
GSA directs more than 80 percent of its IT spending to the operation and maintenance of existing systems, leaving only the remainder to invest in new technologies.

Casey Coleman,as quoted in The CIO 14 years later: Power vs. paperwork


April 11, 2010  1:11 PM

Overheard talking about government and a new risk management framework



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
government IT, risk management
RMF The most obvious impacts will be seen in how this [document] brings the national security community closer to legislative compliance requirements, assists our inspector general audits, and aligns with the rest of the federal government to support reciprocity…the document provides an approach to manage risks for both traditional and complex systems, a procedure that was not formalized previously.

Roger L. Caslow,as quoted in New Document Provides Framework for Interagency Data Sharing

Roger L. Caslow is chief of the Risk and Information Assurance Program Division, Office of the Associate Director of National Intelligence and Chief Information Officer. He’s talking about NIST Special Publication 800-37, Revision 1, Guide for Applying the Risk Management Framework to Federal Information Systems: A Security Life Cycle Approach (NIST SP 800-37) and apparently he doesn’t like to have his picture taken.

Henry Kenyon describes the special publication as a six-step risk management framework (RMF); a common information security framework for the federal government and the contractors who support it. The official diagram is below:


April 11, 2010  12:37 PM

Overheard talking about the Army and interoperability



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
government IT
You can just have your browser on a thin client, tap into that cloud, get your files, get your e-mail, get your content, whatever you need in order to work. So we are clearly looking at leveraging the same type of concept and capabilities that they’re trying to put in the commercial world into what we have in the military in the future.Lt. Gen.

Jeffrey A. Sorenson, Web 2.0, Military Style

Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson is the chief information officer/G-6, U.S. Army.

The Army also is considering how to replicate the Google Mail concept so soldiers can check e-mail from wherever they are located. In addition, the service is digging into Microsoft’s plans to develop clouds of content. With this knowledge, the service could design equipment that would allow soldiers to use smaller devices to access information in lieu of carrying massive computers.

From Interview with Army Director CIO/G-6 Lt. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sorenson

We are trying to improve our enterprise architecture such that we are protecting what we call the ‘coins of the realm,’ those specific aspects of the network that you do not want to have compromised. Part of our strategy now is setting up area processing centers to reduce the number of points of presence on the network, so that we have a consolidated number of centers where different organizations across the Army can draw services, but leave network management to a number of centers that are highly standardized in terms of their tool sets, as well as function, so they can better manage the security of the network. That’s part of the enterprise architecture.

The second thing is that we are trying to consolidate some of our active directory capabilities. As we have proliferated the number of active directories throughout the Army, we have so many that they can’t see each other. We have difficulties making sure they are all secure. A lot of consolidation is taking place, both in the area of processing centers and our consolidation of active directory capabilities, to get to an improved security posture across the board.

Another good interview with General Sorenson from FedTech.

Fedtech: What’s the biggest hurdle that you face in the Army right now in terms of deploying IT?

Sorenson: I would say at this point, it’s clearly been trying to consolidate a lot of different networks that we have built up over time into a single network under the command and control of the Network Enterprise Technology Command, other­wise known as NETCOM 9th/Signal Command (Army), down at Fort Huachuca [in Arizona]. We have had difficulty trying to get to that interoperable network because we have built all these individual ones that don’t necessarily work together.

Each one of us — OSD, the Army, the Air Force and the Navy — have individual agreements with Microsoft. There is an effort right now to consolidate that. We are moving quite frankly into a joint arena right now with Microsoft. The Army is the lead for this because we are the largest customer.

* Note: General Sorenson says the Army is Microsoft’s biggest customer, period.


April 11, 2010  12:27 PM

Overheard talking about the miltary and IT purchasing



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
government IT
We buy information technology the same way we buy weapons systems. We need to get away from buying applications and systems and buy services and capabilities. We should not care as much about the underlying technology, but rather what effect the service or capability will have.

John J. Garing, as quoted in Web 2.0, Military Style

John J. Garing is the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Director for Strategic Planning and Information. Prior to assuming this role, he was DISA’s Chief Information Officer. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) employs more than 6200 civilians and pays quite well.


April 9, 2010  3:35 PM

Overheard talking about the Federal Transparency website



Posted by: Margaret Rouse
audit, government IT
There was either information left out or the information provided didn’t match agency records. It didn’t appear that it was intentional. But agencies and entities shouldn’t get sloppy in their reporting.

Dave Powner, Government Accountability Office (GAO) Director for Information Technology Management Issues, as quoted in Report Identifies Data Gaps in Federal Transparency Web Site


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