Three Technology Trends for Homeland Security

Three Technology Trends for Homeland Security

In 2013, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its components must adopt information technology (IT) that is changing faster than ever with dramatically fewer resources.

As a company that supports DHS in information technology, we’ve seen a tremendous growth in work on emerging technologies in data analytics / big data, mobility, and cybersecurity.  Agencies struggle to find funding for these, but know they can help leap frog a component and let them make meaningful impact on the mission.

Here are three trends to watch for in 2013 and 2014:

  • Big Data- The White House has implemented several initiatives focused on leveraging the potential of big data analysis. DHS collects massive amounts of data on a daily basis. With the adoption of big data technology DHS will be able to analyze structured and unstructured data that is constantly changing to make real time decisions. Like agencies across the federal government, DHS’ challenge is to learn how to apply big data technology to cross-agency data sets to answer mission critical questions
  • Mobility- DHS has begun to harness mobile technology to communicate with its employees, citizens and stakeholders as more people have begun to use tablets and smartphones as tools to digest information. DHS is exploring how mobile technology can affect how employs carry out their normal work functions. For example, the Federal Chief Information Officer has led the effort to assist federal agencies in adopting “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) programs. In a recent survey by Cisco, 69% IT leaders from a variety of industries supported BYOD programs as they allow employees to have more flexibility regarding, how, where and when they work and lead to employee driven improvements in collaboration and productivity.  Mobile public applications at TSA and Government-only applications at FEMA are leading the way
  • Cybersecurity- Agencies are establishing minimum standards for IT infrastructure to prevent cyber threats. In 2011 DHS’s OCIO launched an initiative to improve IT security across Department by improving management visibility and increasing education across all components. DHS will continue to work towards accomplishing all of the tasks outlined in this initiative throughout 2013 focusing on identifying and preventing cyber attacks.

So what is one key to success for DHS to show short-term progress in each of these three areas?  Pilot programs that are small in scope, yet big in impact. 

Smaller, quick projects that prove concepts that can be rapidly expanded are a proven way for a DHS component to make an impact before they invest millions in a solution.  Larger programs face significant delays, funding constraints, stakeholder challenges, and extensive scrutiny. Smaller pilot projects allow an agency prove a concept, prove mission results, and can lead to larger implementations that have buy-in from stakeholders based on success.

Contributors

* Arc Aspicio |

Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. As a rapidly growing company, Arc Aspicio has a bold strategy for 2016-2018 that drives growth through new capabilities in strategy, design, human capital, data analytics, information sharing, cybersecurity, and strategic communications. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude – for its clients and its great team. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.

Lynn Ann Casey / Chief Executive Officer
info@arcaspicio.com
703.465.2060

Mr. Roboto: Your Newest Coworker

Mr. Roboto: Your Newest Coworker

Could your next cubemate be a robot? Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX founder, is building our future coworkers and forming a world filled with Artificial Intelligence (AI) that could “beat us in just about everything,” including our jobs. As Musk attempts to create a real-life iRobot, many advantages and a possible partnership arise with this future. How can the Government and Homeland Security prepare and welcome new technological advancements?

Data + Strategy: Using Data to Inform Agency Strategy

Data + Strategy: Using Data to Inform Agency Strategy

Understanding the types of data available, gaining access to the right data, and making sense of data are daunting tasks for most organizations as they develop a strategy to meet mission demands and enterprise-wide goals. Data is especially challenging for the Government, yet provides the opportunity for insight for leaders as they strategically move their agencies forward.

Workplace Morale is Going to the Dogs… Literally!

Workplace Morale is Going to the Dogs… Literally!

There are few greater feelings than a dog’s unconditional love. And some are finding that a dog’s love can help combat stress at work. Secretary Zinke of the Interior Department announced his intent for "Doggy Days" where he encouraged employees to bring their canine companions to work on designated days. More than 80 dogs arrived for first event and the overjoyed employees immediately scheduled the next.

Accelerating FITARA Compliance: Five Steps That Leaders Can Take Today

Accelerating FITARA Compliance: Five Steps That Leaders Can Take Today

Implementing change is not always easy, but it is always necessary. Federal agencies have been working to transform how they acquire and manage Federal information technology (IT). The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) in December 2014 has increased visibility into this transformation.Although FITARA enhances the authority and accountability of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in reviewing and approving major IT investment projects, CIOs continue to look for new ways to implement best practices at their agencies.

Combating the Rise of Transnational Criminal Organizations

Combating the Rise of Transnational Criminal Organizations

Crime, corruption, and violence – particularly involving drug, human, and weapons trafficking – continue to increase at an alarming rate in the U.S. Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) are a critical part of this trend and pose a serious and growing threat to homeland security – at our borders and beyond.U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is at the tip of the spear to combat TCOs. With the context that the first goal in their Vision and Strategy 2020 Strategic Plan is Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime, CBP is focusing on disrupting TCOs responsible for the cross-border trafficking of illegal drugs, humans, and guns.

Design Thinking: Putting the Citizen at the Heart of Lasting Change

Design Thinking: Putting the Citizen at the Heart of Lasting Change

For the past few decades, there has been a growing increase in the digital channels available to network with the Federal government. These channels have made it easier for the public to interact and elicit responses from elected officials.These growing interactions have increased expectations for Government to be more transparent and collaborative. From the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the Department of State (DOS), Design Thinking transformations have begun to develop and modernize programs to be more human-centered. Agencies and programs beholden to serve the public good should logically adopt a problem-solving mindset that places the individual at the heart of any lasting changes.

Using Behavioral Science to Improve Mission Outcomes

Using Behavioral Science to Improve Mission Outcomes

Although behavioral science has been studied and applied within academia for decades, recently the concept has emerged everywhere – from Silicon Valley tech giants such as Google and Uber, to various Government agencies including the Department of Education, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Agriculture.But defining and applying such a broad and sometimes-nebulous discipline can prove difficult. What exactly is behavioral science? How can the Government use the concepts and lessons learned effectively?

Crowdsourcing to Improve Security

Crowdsourcing to Improve Security

Many of us are familiar with the idea of crowdsourcing. Corporations and the Government both use crowdsourcing to generate data, raise awareness campaigns, and produce ideas. So, what if we used crowdsourcing to enhance our security and bridge communication gaps between the Government and American citizens at the same time?

Homeland Security Managers = Innovative Leaders

Homeland Security Managers = Innovative Leaders

The search for and implementation of innovative methods to protect the homeland should play an important role in homeland security managers’ approach to how they guide their organizations. Citizens expect government leaders to propose and implement organizational, acquisition, and personnel management practices that enhance our nation’s ability to prepare for and mitigate potential threats. They expect these to make them safer and the nation more secure.