Government IT

Governments Worry Over Lack of IT Talent

Posted In Looking in Tech
Federal and state government agencies facing an IT talent shortage are struggling to deal with an IT talent pipeline that is rapidly drying out, according to a report by Washington-based Freedman Consulting. “Technology talent is a key need in government and civil society, but the current state of the pipeline is inadequate to meet that need,” the report says. “The bad news is that existing institutions and approaches are insufficient to build and sustain this pipeline, particularly in the face… continue…

D.C. Grapples With Public Sector IT Slip-Ups

Posted In Looking in Tech
What’s New Before the fiasco, the biggest technology news to shake up Washington last quarter was only tangentially technological: Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos’s successful purchase of The Washington Post. “Don’t be boring,” Bezos told the paper’s (unionized) staff. His business exploits never are. Amid continuing discussion about how the National Security Agency operates and what, exactly, it does with the petabytes, exabytes and zettabytes of data it has the power to collect came an announcement that the agency will… continue…

Amazon’s Seeking Engineers for Super-Secure CIA Cloud

Amazon Logo
Having trumped IBM for a $600 million cloud contract with the Central Intelligence Agency, Amazon Web Services is hiring the hundreds of engineers and other professionals necessary to bring the spooks’ new super-secure cloud to life. The company is reportedly hiring 500 employees at AWS’s recently opened Herndon, Va., facility, located not far from CIA headquarters in Langley. Included in many of the descriptions posted on Amazon’s jobs site is a qualification already familiar to those the company expects to… continue…

Shutdown Halts VA Software Development

Posted In Looking in Tech
The Department of Veterans Affairs has halted all software development, including work on a $491 million paperless Veterans Benefits Management System, according to Nextgov. The news comes after the department furloughed 2,754 IT employees. The VA also furloughed its 7,000 employees processing disability and education claims, and has closed public access to the Veterans Benefits Administration’s 56 regional offices. Victoria Dillon, acting VA press secretary, said that the IT employees were furloughed after 2013 carryover-funding balances were “exhausted.” VA Secretary… continue…

Amazon, Microsoft Cloud Services Could Suffer from Shutdown

Posted In Looking in Tech
Microsoft, Amazon and other Seattle-based companies that offer cloud services may take a hit if the federal government shutdown lingers. With hundreds of thousands of federal workers on furlough, the need for cloud solutions may prove to be less-than-critical. Typically, the government, as well as private sector customers, pay for cloud services on a monthly basis or with an annual subscription. If those customers terminate their agreements early, providers lose expected revenue, even though they’ll often collect a penalty fee.… continue…

Federal Tech Hiring Has Declined Since January

Posted In Looking in Tech
Just in time for the government shut down, we learn that Federal IT hiring has slipped throughout 2013. A Computerworld analysis of employment data found that each month this year, fewer tech jobs were posted than during the corresponding month in 2012. Since budget Sequestration took effect in March, IT job listings dropped from about 200 each month to 150. With today’s shutdown, all federal hiring is frozen. At the end of 2012, the government’s IT workforce had grown to almost… continue…

Government CIOs Don’t Stay in Place for Long

Posted In Looking in Tech
Increasingly, CIOs in government are walking through a revolving door. Based on an annual survey of nearly 2,000 CIOs, the research firm Gartner says the average tenure of a public-sector CIO is 3.4 years, down from the 4.2 reported in 2012. In the private sector, however, CIOs remain in their jobs for an average of 5.7 years, up from 4.7 years in 2012. There’s no single explanation for the short tenure in government, though no doubt politics plays a role,… continue…

Sequestration and Its Impact on Big Data

Many have heard the word “Sequestration” bandied about in the press, but few seem to know what it means. It refers to budget cuts to federal spending that began on March 1, 2013 as an austerity fiscal policy enacted by the Budget Control Act of 2011. The spending reductions are approximately $85.4 billion during fiscal year 2013, with similar cuts for years 2014 through 2021. Starting the week of July 8, 2013, many civilian federal workers will be forced to… continue…

How Sequestration Will Pinch IT

Posted In Silicon Valley
U.S. Capitol Building
Although the defense sector has been the focus of discussion on how sequestration will impact technology, the overall industry is sure to feel the pain as well. For those of you who haven’t looked at the news for the last six months or so, sequestration is the name given to the automatic spending cuts that began to slice into both domestic and defense programs on March 1. In California alone, a minimum of 5,000 tech jobs, excluding those in aerospace… continue…

Europeans Flog Themselves with Cyber Attacks

Cyber Europe 2012
A massive denial of service attack hit more than 300 European public and private institutions this week, including major government agencies such as the UK’s spy agencies MI5 and MI6 and several banks. The interesting thing is that the assault wasn’t by some hacker. It was a coordinated attempt by the agencies and businesses themselves. Welcome to the latest round of defensive planning for the next real cyber war. The Cyber Europe 2012 exercise was run by the European Network… continue…