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Posted: 7/9/2008 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Tags: Security

Groups throughout the metropolis of 495-land are engaged once again in transition planning. This is, of course, a regularly scheduled exercise, guaranteed by the Constitution, which mandates a presidential election every 4 years. It is undertaken whether or not a change in administration is predicted; and even if a re-election is in the cards. 

In the information technology world, dozens of trade and professional associations will be taking a crack at transition talk in white papers, conferences, breakfast executive sessions and media events.
Articles and radio programming will be generated offering direct advice and insight for the prospective winners - those would be everyone remotely in line for office.
On the inside, the technology delivery community will be convening the best strategy resources they can marshal to take a shot at predicting the stars and aligning offerings and solutions to them.
So why not the blogosphere? I have decided to offer advice from the trenches. My advice is focused on those who will actually inherit change from the top, and will be expected to maintain some sort of continuity throughout the process. I’m talking to the career govies and their contractor partners.
So here are some initial thoughts. Please add your own.
  • Resist the temptation to bring your successful programs to the attention of the new people. That’s a fatal mistake many managers make in a transition. One of two things will happen as you forward these in your transition materials, expecting continued support for a successful project you have been running. Possibility One: They will assume everything occurring prior to their arrival was misguided and will not align to the new strategies they are bringing. Possibility Two: they will realize quickly that successes of the past can do nothing but detract from the successes they need to roll out.
  • Rebrand! To the extent you do wish to maintain significant progress, develop code names to allow for the new appointees to assert ownership with their acronyms of choice. Use “Project Forward” or code name “Q”. Or even @#*&%$#. Anything but its given OMB 300 surname.
  • Don’t panic. People are consistently over zealous in their transition efforts. Nothing significant can occur for at least a year. Remember, new initiatives normally only get momentum for 18 to 24 months in the middle of administrations. Be circumspect and let things unfold naturally.
 Anyone out there have anything to add to the list?
Posted: 2/13/2008 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

Just for the sake of discussion… 

I was reading through some of the trades not long ago and stumbled on Gartner Inc.’s list of top 10 technologies in 2008. They believe these are the technologies that are most likely to have a significant impact on organizations in the next three years.
They are:
  1. Green IT
  2. Unified communications
  3. Business process modeling
  4. Metadata management
  5. Virtualization 2.0
  6. Mashup and composite applications
  7. Web platform and web-oriented architecture
  8. Computing fabric
  9. Real World Web
  10. Social Software
Forrester Research also has a list of what its analysts call priority IT initiatives. The company predicts the following will be the priority initiatives next year, according to eWeek:
  1. Green IT (chiefly, cutting electrical costs)
  2. Productivity-enhancing applications
  3. Knowledge management, enhanced by blogs, wikis, tagging and other tools that retain worker know-who
  4. Data warehouses, analytic tools and overall business intelligence
  5. Centralized data, thanks to virtualization
  6. Better security soft skills, processes and plans—as opposed to tools
  7. Mainstreamed service oriented architecture and streamlined processes.
In my role as a consultant, I spend a great deal of time discussing with companies what trends are in play that will influence the shape of federal opportunities. While it may be instructive to understand the technological innovations and advances, I can’t let pass the implication that technology will drive organizations. When I look across hundreds of requirements from federal agencies with all sorts of missions, a number of common user pain points and expectations surface.
So let’s take a shot at articulating what will influence organizations and the technology solutions that they will look for, as if we are the user community. 
“I want any time, anywhere, reliable access to my mission applications. My transactions have to be secure. I need reliable and uninterrupted service. I need to be able to incorporate new requirements quickly and without risk to existing operations.”
New generations of employees will take these capabilities for granted, will demand them. Translating them into technology enablers, I predict a focus on network edge devices that have adequate power to support user needs, including a number of peripherals. End-to-end security from data to device is also critical enabler, as are
converged phone-IP communications and service oriented architectures.
So when we overlay user needs to technology improvement trends, do they match? Are the tools vendors are building the ones that the next-gen users and applications will need? As technology providers, let’s make sure they do.