OMB hopes a new strategy will accelerate cloud adoption, GSA aims to streamline acquisition for feds, and much more. This is Public Spend Forum’s Weekly Roundup for July 13, 2018.
The Trump administration wants the Technology Business Management (TMB) framework, a detailed system for tracking IT investments and measuring the business outcomes, to be embraced governmentwide by 2022. But since most agencies lack clean and consistent data on the IT they buy, tackling TBM often starts with a time-consuming inventory process. “We want to streamline the reporting of IT,” Federal CIO Suzette Kent said at an event hosted by the TBM Council. At least one firm believes artificial intelligence can automate much of that data-gathering and make it easier for agencies to jump to TBM. Apptio, which offers a suite of TBM solutions, announced an “early adopter program” is now open to federal agencies looking to leverage machine learning to automatically extract and map technology costs from their general ledger and invoicing systems for TBM.
It has often been said that one key hurdle federal agencies need to overcome to move applications to the cloud is cultural resistance. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is trying a new, straightforward tack: focus on what’s working and try to replicate those strategies across the government. Within the next few months, OMB is expected to release a new government cloud strategy, tentatively dubbed “Cloud Smart,” a successor to the government’s cloud-first policy, which was formalized in early 2011. The forthcoming strategy document will highlight areas of success in government cloud adoption and seek to leverage these best practices for all agencies. “We’re trying to find new ways for people to get to cloud, and the problem is we’re using the same old approaches,” Bill Hunt, a digital services expert at OMB, said last month at ATARC’s Cloud & Data Center Summit.
New technology to block phishing attacks on mobile devices is now available for agencies to pilot through licenses held by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS officials said the new phishing protections, partially funded by the agency’s Science & Technology Directorate, are available for both private and public sector stakeholders. But per the research contract that funded the project, the S&T Directorate can also use its license agreements to help other agencies pilot the tech on their mobile devices and determine if they want to procure it through a traditional acquisition. “Phishing protection for mobile never existed before. It’s really important to bring those capabilities to bear,” Vincent Sritapan, program manager for mobile security.
The Section 809 Panel released a new report that proposes a new “enterprise capability portfolio management” structure to improve how the Pentagon acquires technology. In the “Report of the Advisory Panel on Streamlining and Codifying Acquisition Regulations: Vol. 2,” the Section 809 Panel said: “The defense acquisition system requires greater speed and ability to be responsive in a dynamic environment.” A number of other benefits would accrue from such a shift, the panel said, including a tighter alignment of acquisition, requirements and budget processes, greater flexibility and “potentially increased warfighter capability.” The panel plans to provide more specific recommendations related to enterprise capability portfolio management, portfolio execution, sustainment and requirements in its final Vol. 3 report which is slated to be released in January 2019.
The General Services Administration (GSA) began implementing an initiative that seeks to authorize government agencies to purchase order-level materials (OLM) through the Multiple Award Schedules program. OLMs are supplies or services procured in support of a delivery or task order that are not determined at the time of a contract award. The agency also integrated special ordering procedures into contracts under OLM-authorized schedules and assigned a special item number for OLMs to facilitate the inclusion of such ancillary services in schedule orders by agencies.
Also in the news: