Wow! Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last ten years, you have seen some pretty interesting technology innovations in our market. But this headline really caught my eye: “C2 Technologies Develops iPhone Mobile App for Army's Patriot Missile”. It’s interesting because the iPhone app is used not to launch a Patriot missile but to train the troops how to launch the missile, and care for the equipment (and all that goes with it). How cool is that?
This same phenomenon is also happening in the foreign language training market where soldiers need to learn a new language while in their cot, on ship, in a tent, anywhere they have down-time. And why not? Putting mission critical training material inside a devise that helps them learn anywhere they want to learn is a great idea; perhaps while enroute to their theater of operations. This certainly fits as “just in time learning” which is how most prefer learning. Advice to small businesses: Let’s keep thinking creatively and show the feds and the large primes that we small contractors really do, in fact know how to innovate. (If somebody can create an app that convinces my teenager to clean his room, I will pay dearly!).
Congratulations to Al Tarasiuk, new CIO for the intelligence community (IC-CIO). Although I don’t know him, he seems like a perfectly likeable guy. In examining his success at the CIA, I wager you’ll see an emphasis on several things:
· More corporate-style ROI justifications emphasis on IT systems acquisition and management;
· IT governance policies that are horizontal, intended to raise the bar of competence;
· Agile and streamlined project management themes for IC-wide projects;
· An emphasis on the IC Data Layer roll-out to the IC enterprise (beyond the DIA);
He seems to get the fact that technology is not the hardest barrier that the IC agencies face… so you may see some effort to reduce the cultural stove pipes, even among the IC personnel. The IC-Cloud Computing initiative may be-at the same time, a tool and a motivation to accomplish this.
This is also an interesting note, when asked, basically, “what keeps you up at night, Al?”
Answer: "The thing that worries me the most," he says, "is that we have buried somewhere, in some database, some piece of information that a person that might need access to doesn't have the access or the data is not available to them somehow."
I could see this headache of Tarasuik translating into continued emphasis on information sharing for the core IC mission areas.
If you know Al Tarasiuk, tell me what I’ve missed.