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FCW : January 2014
tive efforts in government were often costly and time- consuming, today, for the rst time, technology is push- ing us to the tipping point where it is becoming easier to work together than alone. This is true not only within an organization, but also across agencies and with the public. Within an organization, collaborative efforts allow initiatives to be surfaced at initial phase gates and receive early feedback, diminishing the potential for duplication of efforts and ensuring that, once public, the effort has a higher likeli- hood of success. Across government, the types of challenges agencies typically face --- with regard to their internal work ows and in delivering services to the public --- often do not change from agency to agen- cy. A Freedom of Information Act request is a FOIA request requiring the same response regardless of the agency to which it is submitted. As agencies solve com- mon problems and begin to build shared solutions, CIOs can focus their budgets and efforts on yet-unsolved chal- lenges rather than repeated- ly reinventing the wheel. Open collaboration with the public, meanwhile, can provide a direct avenue of customer feedback and reduce the administrative burden of identifying, devel- oping, testing and delivering desired functionality. With thousands of eyes, even the toughest of bugs is shallow, and with the right commu- nity, the x is often but a pull request away. For federal IT, 2013 was de ned by a marked shift from a proprietary- rst mentality to open source for purchases and in-house development. If that trend continues, 2014 will be the year in which we see silos of efforts breaking down and a collaboration- rst mindset beginning to emerge. ■ Using the cloud to break the 'iron triangle' Teresa Carlson The vice president of Amazon Web Services' Worldwide Public Sector predicts that the cloud will improve the government's agility Since the early days of government IT, we've been told that the "iron triangle" cannot be broken: Cost, quality and speed will always be linked. Then we're told, "You can have two. " My prediction for the cloud in 2014 is that it will become the key enabler for government IT to break that triangle. Agencies can not only have all three, they can also ensure the right level of security. We have already seen innovative thinkers and technologists in government and the private sector take advantage of the opportu- nity to focus on their core missions instead of worry- ing about whether their data centers are running. Some of those federal innovators are using on- demand access to virtu- 20 December 2013 FCW.COM 16 January 2014 FCW.COM 2014 outlook operate on so we'll be seeing that trend in 2014." While Basla was referring to the Defense Department in particular, the idea is the same at all federal agencies and even the private sector. Cybersecurity is poised to ascend on the national agenda, and the follow- ing three areas will shape the journey. 1. NIST's Cybersecurity Framework The framework is intended to serve as voluntary and exible guidelines to help agencies and companies of all sizes, particularly those dealing with critical infrastructure, better protect themselves against cyber threats. The goal all along has been for the guide- lines to be shaped by industry's input, and NIST has followed through by hosting workshops across the coun- try and inviting comments in order to fashion a framework that is effective yet business-friendly. "The framework is the product of stakeholders that participated in NIST's process," said Andy Grotto, senior technology policy adviser at the Commerce Department, NIST's parent agency. "The bottom line is that the framework isn't NIST's; it's the com- munity's framework." Once the framework is released, the true test will begin: How wide will adoption be, and how will the frame- work perform as organizations begin implementing it? The implications are big as leaders in both the public and private sectors keep a watchful eye on what happens. If things don't go well --- if, for instance, the standards are not widely adopted or don't yield positive results --- it could mean trouble as organiza- tions seek to navigate an ambiguous cybersecurity landscape with little standardization. But a successful roll- out with comprehensive buy-in could lay the foundation for how the United States moves forward with cyberse- curity writ large, including legislative action and the creation of lucrative related markets, such as insurance and cybersecurity services. "The framework presents an oppor- tunity to focus on ways to build a mar- ket around investing in cybersecurity, ways to invest for our companies to protect themselves, large and small, [and] ways to build new science, new innovation," said Phyllis Schneck, dep- uty undersecretary for cybersecurity at