This Week in the Federal Cloud: April 16-20

This week, DOD and Intelligence officials speaking at the AFCEA conference highlighted the need to match acquisition policy with the speed of technology. As we have seen over many years, governments consistently struggle to change their culture and mindset, as well as the underlying acquisition policy, to keep pace with changing technology. As governments plan for and begin to move to cloud computing, this issue will continue to be a point of debate.

This week we also saw the release of an insightful survey by Serena Software, highlighting the views of federal IT officials on a number of key topics. Agile development – a software development process focused on delivering results quickly in small increments – was a priority for only 22 percent of the 225 federal IT professionals surveyed. The same study also reported that only 19 percent of those surveyed listed cloud computing as a priority despite the push by the Administration for “Cloud First.”

The drumbeat around continuous monitoring also continued this week, as lawmakers began debate on Rep. Issa’s FISMA 2.0 legislation. The bill, H.R. 4257, known officially as the Federal Information Security Amendments Act of 2012 passed the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee earlier this week by voice vote and is expected to be considered on the House Floor next week. The key to continuous monitoring, which is seen by many as an alternative to compliance audits, is making sure the underlying control environment you are monitoring is secure. Simply monitoring a weak system won’t achieve the desired results.


Michael Hettinger is VP for the Public Sector Innovation Group (PSIG) at SIIA. Follow his PSIG tweets at @SIIAPSIG.