When it comes to government IT or FedTech, innovation and digital transformation can seem next to impossible. Massive amounts of secure data, employee bases of hundreds of thousands and custom base of millions, thousand-page standards and regulation manuals, risk-averse culture, and seemingly endless other roadblocks and backlogs make DevOps and IT transformation difficult in federal organizations – and that is putting it lightly.
Oh yeah, we forgot to mention legacy systems? A recent article on nextgov.com stated “Nearly three quarters of the federal government’s $80 billion budget for information technology goes toward maintaining existing — and in some cases — archaic systems.”
Security in federal organizations remains a huge issue. As we saw in June this year, when the Office of Personnel Management, fell victim to a massive security breach that affected over 21 million federal employees, compromising 4.2 million social security numbers.
What does this mean for digital transformation inside government agencies? Are they doomed to stay locked in “indefensibly archaic” legacy systems, too entrenched in bureaucracy to make the changes necessary?
As we learned at the DevOps Enterprise Summit last year during the incredibly compelling session “How DevOps Can Fix Federal Government IT” given by Mark Schwartz, CIO at USCIS, the answer is no.
While not all agencies within the federal government have been able to adopt Agile, DevOps and/or Lean practices, within the few who have begun the transformation, the results are extremely encouraging.
At this year’s DevOps Enterprise Summit (#DOES15), happening October 19-21 in San Francisco, we will keep the conversation going and hear from several other brilliant minds in FedTech on how organizations implementing DevOps to transform the way they delivery digital services to better service their customers, and us citizens.
Check out these awesome DOES15 speakers that we can’t wait to hear from, Oct., 19-21st in San Francisco:
Mike Bland is practice director at 18F, a software development and consultancy team within the S. General Services Administration, allied with the U.S. Digital Service. He describes his job as “creating the space where great software can be made,” and “developing agricultural methods and machinery that can spread across farms to feed a hungry nation.” In his DOES15 presentation, Pain is Over, If You Want It, Mike will discuss his part in the effort to modernize how software is developed, procured and steered culture toward maximum transparency, autonomy and collaboration inside government agencies. He will outline his experiences at Google that shaped his outlook and describe his efforts to capitalize on Healthcare.gov.
Alan Kraft, after an early career in UNIX and Linux systems administration, Alan is now working on hybrid cloud computing, Linux Containers and DevOps at “Some of the most valuable innovations for DevOps flow from outside of IT disciplines,” he said in an interview with DOES15 about his upcoming session, Learning & Teaching DevOps in the Enterprise. “Accelerating a DevOps transformation requires improvement in learning and teaching within the enterprise.” His presentation will discuss his experience and the techniques his team uses to learn and teach DevOps practices within the USPTO. He will offer audience members sources to draw on for additional information, and pose some questions to consider within their own organizations.
Terri Potts is an Engineering Fellow and technical director at Raytheon, where she is the information, intelligence and services business software technical director. At Raytheon since 1998, and a champion for modern software development methods since 1999, Terri is interested in software and systems architecture, model driven software development, DevOps and more. Prior to working for Raytheon, she served 11 years in the United States Air Force in all phases of software acquisition and development of defense systems. She will co-present the session, Melting the Glacier: Introducing DevOps to a Federal Systems Integrator, with coworker Michael W. Smith.
Michael W. Smith is an Engineering Fellow and technical director at Raytheon Software. Michael supports the successful adoption of DevOps on Raytheon programs. With specialties in all aspects of development, integration and deployment of infrastructure, including systems architecture, information technology, information assurance, cloud-based technologies and service delivery, Mike excels at communicating ideas to management and engineering teams. Together, alongside Terri Potts, the duo will take the audience on the continuing journey of culture change within Raytheon’s development community. Their presentation will discuss the trials and tribulations of moving from silo’ed to cooperative communities and the perils and rewards of journey.
If you would like to learn more from all five of these fascinating DevOps practitioners – as well as other real-world stories of how large enterprises are transforming their business with DevOps – we invite you to join us at the 2015 DevOps Enterprise Summit. Mike, Alan, Terri, Michael and many more will share their insights and experiences with driving a DevOps transformation.
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