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Transforming American Governance

In the midst of the debt crisis here in Washington, D.C., the nation teetered toward default, but eventually came to a compromise to avert that outcome. A recent article in The New Yorker likened the situation to “. . . members of an ordinance-disposal unit arguing about how to defuse a large ticking bomb.” Our nation faces a large—and growing—long-term fiscal imbalance driven by an aging population, which will dramatically increase healthcare and retirement costs.

The nation certainly faces other challenges: the continuing war on terror, increasing economic competition from emerging world powers like China and India, rising energy costs, environmental concerns, and other new and unknown problems and threats. Any one of these issues would provide a large enough agenda for a president and Congress. Their convergence creates an atmosphere of unparalleled complication for government management.

Overcoming these obstacles will require a “changed” government, a 21st-century government transformed to operate on demand. Read More »

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Secure Mobility: Is a Tablet in Your Future?

You may already be using a personal tablet — for news, social networking with friends, video on demand, and face-to-face video interaction.
Now, thanks to the Cisco® Cius™ tablet, government organizations with hundreds of thousands of mobile workers can apply these various uses to a work environment in a way that would be impractical and cost-inefficient with commercial and personal tablets.
The Cisco® Cius™ tablet is built specifically for businesses’ security needs — all data on the tablets is encrypted at all times and government IT teams control whether the built-in camera is operational, and can lock USB ports to prevent copying of data. The Cius does not allow employees to add software to the system, preventing the risk of malware that could threaten the government’s network or data. Read More »

Emergency Notification: Why You Need Plan B, and Plan C

Mass communications with a large agency workforce is easier when you have plenty of lead time, as you do for a policy change or training class. Challenges arise when you need everyone to take action as soon as possible because of an approaching tornado, building contamination, or an armed person in the building, for example.
Effective mass-notification processes are becoming a requirement for government organizations. Mass notification is also part of continuity of operations plans, because employees who find out that the office is closed can start working from home rather than wasting time on an unnecessary commute and possibly placing themselves in harm’s way. Read More »

US Government can lead in the Cloud

Dan Kent, Director, Federal Solutions and CTO, was fortunate to participate in Tech America’s   Commission on the Leadership Opportunity in U.S. Deployment of the Cloud (CLOUD2) over the past 4 months.  The purpose of this commission was to identify roadblocks, document lessons learned   and make recommendations on how the government can increase the adoption of cloud computing.

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Virtual vs. Physical Interactions

In response to my post of the Chattanooga editorial, someone wrote to me that he thought that virtual communications would make physical interaction even more important.  I won’t go into the whole argument here, but note that this is more sophisticated than the simple comparison of virtual vs. physical interactions that many people have made.

Nevertheless, I did think that it deserved a response and here it is:

I think the Internet in its current form (texting, email, social media, etc.) is still an immature form of communications.  So the crux of the matter is not so much whether the current Internet will change how people interact, but how the ubiquitous video communications of the future will affect behavior. Read More »

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