John Thomas Flynn

MeriTalk

Emerging tech
cloud

Following on the successes of the FedRAMP program that certifies cloud services as secure to use for Federal government agencies, the home-grown StateRAMP program is forging ahead with similarly vital services to state and local governments and institutions of higher learning, state, and industry leaders explained on October 5 during MeriTalk’s StateRAMP: Taking the On-Ramp to Secure SLED Cloud Solutions online event.

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Labor

Now that the Federal government, via the Department of Labor (DoL), has signed up to put $2 billion of stimulus-related funding into shoring up beleaguered state unemployment insurance (UI) systems overpowered by the jobless claim surge due to coronavirus pandemic, Federal and state officials discussed how those efforts will roll out during a panel discussion at MeriTalk’s State Tech Vision virtual program on September 15.

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StateRAMP, the nonprofit formed earlier this year by leaders from state and local governments and the private sector to help state and local governments manage their third party supplier cybersecurity risks, has released the initial roster of its Authorized Vendor List (AVL).

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As the ink is still drying – or its equivalent for a liquid crystal display screen – on the 12th edition of the House Government Operations Subcommittee’s Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) Scorecard, I pondered the question about whether and how the same measurement could be applied to state-level IT operations and progress.

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Now that there are real dollars beginning to finally accompany the many voices calling for government IT modernization, it’s perfect timing for Marianne Bellotti’s new book, “Kill It with Fire,” which cautions against the headlong approach the title connotes. She conveys this quite succinctly in the book’s pithy epigraph – with a quote from Ellen Ullman, a fellow author and computer programmer: “We build our computer systems the way we build our cities: over time, without a plan, on top of ruins.”

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innovation

With the COVID pandemic painfully revealing the soft underbelly of legacy state IT programs, much speculation has arisen about just how an enterprise IT modernization program for states could take place.

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For the seventh time in the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ (NASCIO) half-century existence, the White House changed political parties with the incoming Biden Administration this month. Given the fact that Federal funds support as much as half of state IT budgets, it is no surprise that such changes in Washington, D.C. can have a significant impact on states’ IT bottom line.

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John Thomas Flynn
MeriTalk