From cloud to security, experts predict active 2015 for feds

More agencies may realize their role as data brokers for the rest of the country, one expert said.

With the past few years spent laying so much groundwork to modernize federal IT, many experts expect 2015 is the year where the government will begin to reap what it has sown.

Roger Baker, chief strategy officer for AgileX and former CIO for the Veterans Affairs and Commerce departments, told FedScoop he expects to see a more agile mentality across federal agencies.

“I think you will see a continued focus on doing things from an agile perspective. Not just software development, it’s agile management, agile operations, all the way to whole concept of DevOps emerging in a number of agencies,” Baker said.

Baker sees an even greater move toward commercial cloud, given how the cloud allows government to host a vast amount of IT needs. He compares the adoption of cloud to the way Ford’s Model T launched a broad adoption of automobiles nearly a century ago.


“Commercial cloud to me is just like Henry Ford with the Model T,” he said. “The reason the Model T was such a great car, and so popular and so cheap is that you could have it any way you wanted as long as it was black. That’s where I see the very strong commercial cloud things going.”

Another thing Baker sees happening in 2015 is more agencies realizing their role as data brokers for the rest of the country. Agencies have no way to know how people use their data, but will be taking precautions to standardize and protect it.

“The data has to be very mobile and very secure,” Baker said. “You don’t know what the use for the data is going to be. You’ve got to segment yourself, as an IT professional, to know that the data is what matters and the application of the data is quickly becoming the province of the end user, not of the IT person. The innovation is in the use of the data. The housing, provisioning and securing of the data is going to remain the province of the IT professional, because that’s the hard part.”

Steve Kester, AMD’s North America director of governmental affairs, said he expects to a convergence of all the things put in place during 2014.

“Convergence is enabled by advancements in areas such as more energy efficient technologies and more intelligent software, and an enhanced focus in areas such as security, open standards and interoperability,” Kester told FedScoop “Big Data and [the Internet of Things], for example, are converging as sensors, smart devices and wearables, and networked technologies of all kinds are being widely deployed and are generating rich data streams that can provide a host of improvements and new applications. Convergence as a trend is really about moving ahead to the next level of the digital age.”


When it comes to cybersecurity, Baker said he sees both agencies and adversaries beefing up their profile.

“Cybersecurity is a break-even,” Baker said. “We’ll make some progress, but the adversaries are going to make just as much progress in attacking as we do from a defense standpoint.”

Rob Potter, VP of federal sales for Symantec, expects increases in targeted and zero-day attacks, but said he is positive about the security progress made by corporations and agencies.

“The thing that I find to be hopeful about is that we are beginning to see corporations and agencies change in terms of how they’re leveraging threat intelligence, to now look across end points in the network and applications to recognize behavioral anomalies that are not necessarily blocking the attacks, but they’re giving us an opportunity to detect them early and isolate those instances so that we can minimize the amount of risk and loss that happens as a result of them,” Potter told FedScoop.

Greg Otto

Written by Greg Otto

Greg Otto is Editor-in-Chief of CyberScoop, overseeing all editorial content for the website. Greg has led cybersecurity coverage that has won various awards, including accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. Prior to joining Scoop News Group, Greg worked for the Washington Business Journal, U.S. News & World Report and WTOP Radio. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Temple University.

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