Attendees at FOSE conference

FOSE 2014 spotlights trends, tactics that drive agency efficiency

The public sector IT community has encountered some  unexpected challenges in the last year, including performing triage on HealthCare.gov and responding to the Snowden insider threat, all while adapting to steady disruptions from new mobile, cloud and big data technologies.  

FOSE 2014

Find out about the keynotes, programs, sessions and exhibits featured at this year's FOSE conference and expo. Read more.

That’s one reason why planners of this year’s FOSE Conference and Expo, taking place May 13-15 at the Walter Washington Convention Center in D.C., wanted to emphasize the technology big picture in developing the program for this year’s event.

For this year’s FOSE, planners said they want to move beyond compliance and policy minutae and put more emphasis on key tech trends and how agencies can reap the greatest value from signature federal IT initiatives, such as the Cloud First or open data programs.

“Rather than doing the minimum necessary to check the box and comply, the advisory council this year really wanted to make sure we got good examples of people leveraging these initiatives to drive efficiencies for agencies,” said Mark Forman, chairman of this year’s FOSE Advisory Council and vice president IT solutions and cloud computing at TASC.

“We’re trying to mix what you need to understand on policy with what you need to understand of the trends, with case studies mixed in with that,” said Forman, who added that the program was “really gearing this toward that GS 12-13 line supervisor.”

Cloud, mobile, big data and more

This year, FOSE’s technology big picture will be distributed across seven tracks, including cloud and virtualization, mobile government, big data and business intelligence, records and information management, project management and acquisitions and procurement.

More than 60 presentations and panels on the latest tech trends in government will offer a combination of trend analysis, case studies and technology nitty-gritty. To that end, Thursday has been set up as the unofficial “developers day,” said Forman, for those who are “interested, for example, in how you build, develop and deploy a hybrid cloud.”

Also new this year will be a track on acquisition and procurement, a response to the troubles over HealthCare.gov as well as GSA’s ongoing push for commodity buying strategies.  “With all that moving forward, the advisory committee thought we really need to let the people understand what’s going on and how it’s going to affect sourcing,” Forman said.

Noteworthy sessions on the procurement track include Tuesday’s session at 2:45 p.m. featuring a presentation by Larry Levandowski, group manager of the DoD/Navy Acquisition Programs, on “Acquisitions and Meeting the Demands of Changing Technology.”

And on Wednesday at 10:15 a.m., Dan Chenok, executive director of IBM’s Center for the Business of Government, and Kimberly McCabe, president of ASI Government, will take on the topic of “The Future of Acquisition: Myths Trends and Practical Big Ideas.”

The government’s involvement in the world of crowdsourcing, hackathons and other entrepreneurial approaches to technology development and sourcing, will also be highlighted at this year’s FOSE.

Business at FOSE

As a part of their partnership to build business incubators focused specifically on the challenges of the public sector, Booz Allen and the 1776 group will showcasing hot new start-ups on the FOSE tradeshow floor. The Booz Allen-1776 team will also host a special presentation on Tuesday at 10:15 on, meshing management consulting strategy and startup agility to deliver emerging technologies to government.

“They’re going to see where the technology is going in two to five  years and get a good feel for the trends,” Foreman said. In addition to business incubator, the convention floor will showcase some 200 companies, some of which, including Comcast Business, are new to FOSE this year.

Keynotes

The FOSE program unofficially kicks off at 8:45 a.m., when former National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon will give the opening keynote presentation touching on presidential decision-making, the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and the national security implications of cyber warfare.

“It’s a different era than it was 20 years ago, and cyber is a much bigger part of  foreign relations now than it ever was, so I expect him to really go in depth about how things have changed and now they will continue to evolve,” Forman said.

Later on Tues., at 12 p.m. Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management Beth Cobert will present a keynote address touching on her perspective on government IT from her nearly 30-year tenure as a senior director and partner at McKinsey and Co.

At 9 a.m. on Wednesday, attendees will have the chance to hear first-hand how the Boston Marathon bombing investigation was conducted from some of those who directed the operation, including Ed Davis, former commissioner of the Boston Police Department, Richard DesLauriers, former special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division and Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Col. Timothy P. Alben.

At at 1 p.m., a panel featuring NASA chief knowledge officer Ed Hoffman and Jordon Sims, director of organization relations and programs at the Project Management Institute will host a discussion on change and agility in federal projects and programs. The talk will touch on benefits management and its challenges, including funding and regulations.

Thursday’s program will open at 9 a.m., with a panel of six women who are leaders in government IT, including Anne Altman, general manager of IBM Federal; Teresa Carlson, vice president worldwide public sector of Amazon Web Services; Renee Macklin, CIO and chief privacy officer of the Small Business Administration; Deborah Plunkett, NSA information assurance director; Barbara Rivera, president and general manager of public sector business from Experian; and Lisa Schlosser, deputy associate administrator at OMB for e-government and information technology.

On Thursday the program will focus more deeply into technology and development particulars.

Attendees can audit a session at 10:30 a.m. on streamlining mobile development hosted by Kathleen Frisbee, co-director of Connected Health at the Veterans Affairs Department and Shawn Hardenbrook, the VA’s director of Web and mobile solutions. Also at 10:30, James Lindley, chief of code analysis at the Internal Revenue Service presents a talk on project management tactics for constructing secure software.

Throughout the conference, attendees will have access to a series of workshops focused on professional and educational development. Those include daily training clinics on working with NASA’s SEWP Government Wide Acquisition Contract. And on Tuesday at 10:15, the University of Fairfax is offering a security clearance workshop; and a free half-day of training is being offered on getting certified as a Certified Authorization Professional.

“People should come the first two days just to get an understanding of how the different policy and technology industry trends affect them,” Foreman said. “And the last day to get more detailed look at how development in specific programs need to embrace those trends or how they will be impacted by those trends.”

“All in all I think it’s going to be a tremendous learning opportunity,”Foreman said, “an awful lot of knowledge available free to federal employee. I can’t imagine any more concentrated learning experience.”

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