FOSE 2012 serves up 5 courses of hot tech

You might call FOSE 2012 a knowledge cloud for all things government IT.

The annual trade show, which runs April 3-5 at the Washington Convention Center, is actually five conferences in one, a set of interwoven education sessions and technology demos on the government’s top IT priorities.

Three of the FOSE '12 conferences on cloud computing, cybersecurity and mobile government begin Tuesday, April 3, while the defense innovation and records management conference tracks open Wednesday, April 4. 


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They get started just after the person at the center of the government IT conversation federal CIO Steve VanRoekel kicks things off at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday with a keynote on his vision of IT reform, government mobility and revamping how the government buys software.

VanRoekel will be speaking as 250-plus companies prepare to show off their latest tech in the exhibit hall. There, attendees can stroll "Agency Avenue," a showcase of federal IT applications, check out exhibits on government apps, new acquisition training and a cyberattack identification demo hosted by our own GCN Lab team.

An A-list of government and industry IT leaders anchors the rest of the conference.

Keynotes of note

At 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Tom Koulopolous, author of “The Innovation Zone,” is the featured keynote. Known for “taking the mystery out of innovation,” Koulopolous offers “a real-life, practical approach  to innovation that produces results,” according to United Educators CEO Janice Abraham.

At 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, George Mitchell, a former U.S. senator and special envoy for Middle East peace, will offer a global perspective on government IT, including the impact of technology and social media on world political currents.

At 1 p.m. on Wednesday,  Adm. Eric Olson will take the podium to offer “Lessons from the ‘Bull Frog’ SEAL Commander.” Olson, the first Navy SEAL ever to be appointed to a four-star flag rank, will air his views on using technology to enhance the “new fiighter warrior.”

Then at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, FOSE shifts gears with a keynote panel discussion among five top women in government IT. The panel, moderated by 1105 Government Information Group President Anne Armstrong , will feature Judy Marks, president of Siemens Government Technology; Dawn Meyerriecks, assistant director in the Office of the National Director for Intelligence; Linda Rix, president of Avue Technologies; Lisa Schlosser, deputy administrator of OMB’s office of e-government and IT; and Susan Swart, CIO of the State Department.

Session highlights

Between the keynotes, the individual conferences offer tech and policy deep dives. A number of sessions at the cloud conference are devoted to the trade-off between moving to the cloud and maintaining control and security.

“Whether moving existing or writing new applications to the public cloud, the most important consideration is security,” said GTSI chief technology officer Jim Sweeney, who on Tuesday at 8 a.m. will join colleagues from the Commerce and Defense departments and the CIA to offer case studies on cloud security.

Here’s just a sample of what will take place.

At 11 a.m. on Tuesday, the cybersecurity conference will features a talk moderated by the Homeland Security Department’s Matt Coose and featuring the FBI’s Kevin Deeley, the IRS’s David Stender and GAO’s Greg Wilshusen on how to approach continuous cybersecurity monitoring.

At 2:15 on Tuesday Ryan Berg, IBM’s senior architect for security research, will present a track keynote address on whether cloud represents a “business transformation or a security nightmare.”

Elsewhere at 2:15 Tuesday, on the mobile computing front, three top CIOs VA’s Roger Baker, the Federal Aviation Administration’s Steve Cooper, and Utah’s Stephen Fletcher will show how they are managing mobile transformation at their agencies.

“Although the responsibility for security changes when moving or adopting cloud solutions, the risk stays the same,” Berg said in an e-mail message.

At 3:30 on Tuesday, three experts will work through another conundrum: How to preserve information assurance “in a massively scalable world.” Panelist Katie Lewin, program manager for cloud computing at GSA, will provide an update on FedRAMP, the government’s cloud security plan.

"FedRAMP is risk-based and moves the emphasis from compliance to risk evaluation and management,” she said in an e-mail.

At 2:15 on Wednesday, DOD insiders will want to hear the department's deputy CIO, Rob Carey, talk about “DOD Force Multipliers in the Cyber Age.”

The conference schedule goes on full force both days, but you'll also want to allow time to check out the technologies on the floor. To help attendees plan their time on the show floor and at conference sessions, FOSE has launched a mobile app featuring interactive show and event schedules, exhibitor listings and product searches, as well as an interactive floor map and social media interaction.

The app, which is available for Apple, Android and BlackBerry users, was designed by Core-Apps, LLC.

It’s impossible to get to every session, of course, so check the schedule and see what looks best for you. You can check with GCN, Federal Computer Week, Washington Technology and Defense Systems for coverage, and you can also follow the expo and conference on our Twitter feed, @govcomputernews.

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