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FCW : April 30, 2015
IN THE IT PIPELINE WHAT: The Defense Informa- tion Systems Agency is looking for a new way to manage its spectrum. WHY: The Defense Department holds vast amounts of spectrum — from the lower VHF bands up into the super-high -frequency bands — for radar, aircraft and weapons telemetry, tactical communications, air-traffic con- trol, satellites and other uses. Increasingly, the military is being asked to share those holdings with commercial users. The recent AWS-3 auction generated about $45 billion for the federal government via the sale of licenses for 65 MHz of prime spectrum, and a planned expansion of unlicensed com- mercial use of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band could require sharing between, say, mobile Wi-Fi users and military radar. Therefore, spectrum manage- ment is critical. In a sources-sought notice posted on FedBizOpps.gov, DISA announced that it is con- templating a contract for soft- ware that can dynamically issue frequencies in a spectrum- sharing environment. The new automated tool would support 200,000 DOD frequency records, 500,000 fed- eral civilian frequency records and 1,000 total users at a peak of 500 simultaneous log-ons. The new contractor would also have to support Exelis’ current system until it is phased out. FULL LISTING: is.gd/FCW_DISA_spectrum Join the conversation FCW uses Twitter to break news, field questions and ask our own. Learn more at Twitter.com/FCWnow. 7:07AM-3Apr2015 Anthony K. Robbins @AKRobbins2010 Reply Retweet Favorite Well done @KymmMcCabe, recognized for her #IT acquisition reform efforts through the @FCWNow #Fed100: http://bit.ly/1DlQCM7 requests for Snapchat data were made by U.S. authorities from Nov. 1 to March 1 375 The White House raised eyebrows with its fiscal 2016 budget request to expand the U.S. Digital Service into most major agencies. The $105 million plan, if fully funded by Congress, would scatter some 500 technology specialists across government. The immediate question, of course, was obvious: What exactly would this army of agile techies do? Mike Kruger, the Commerce Depart- ment’s director of digital engagement, sketched out his agency’s vision at BMC’s federal IT conference in March. He said such teams will “tackle the ‘hair-on-fire’ projects,” often “the ones that make the news,” such as Health- Care.gov, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ scheduling system and the State Department’s visa-processing system. But they can also address “less inter- esting but equally important things like payment systems” and other back-end services. “People want Google ease and Ama- zon personalization,” he said. “It’s got to be that simple.” And hopefully, Kruger said, crisis- mode rescue efforts will be relatively rare, so that digital service teams can spend more time moving systems “from mediocre to great.” Although Commerce has no “hair-on-fire” proj- ects right now, “we have plenty” in the second category, he added. “We’re the group that comes in and helps you define need and user expe- rience and gets you going so that you can make the argument for funding, for resourcing, for whatever,” Kruger said. That support would be built around several key principles, including: • The end-user experience comes first. • The work will be done by small, nim- ble teams assembled on a project basis. • Metrics must be incorporated from the start and relied on to refine the service. • The development will be iterative and flexible. Kruger stressed that digital services are not a replacement for agencies’ core IT teams or for contracted support. If the budget does materialize, Kru- ger said, the biggest challenge will likely be talent. “There aren’t enough Python developers in D.C....to staff all these projects,” he said. “User experience experts are hard to come by.... So if a lot of federal agencies get this money, we’ll all be in the same boat for these same people.” — Troy K. Schneider What exactly does a digital service team do? April 30, 2015 FCW.COM 11 0430fcw_003-011.indd 11 4/8/15 2:23 PM
April 15, 2015
May 15, 2015