2019 Tech Trends Conference Recap

**Video library of event available for purchase. Click here.**

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2019 Tech Trends Conference

Conference Recap

On Monday, September 16, a wide range of government technology and policy officials spoke at the PSC Tech Trends Conference, PSC’s premier Technology Council event, that focused on emerging information technology and related issues faced by government and industry. Conference sessions provided an important venue for industry to hear directly from senior government officials and engage on top technology trends and opportunities.

The Honorable Margaret Weichert, Deputy Director for Management, Office of Management and Budget, highlighted her key focus areas of the President’s Management Agenda, including the impact of the Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) goals of people, IT modernization, and unlocking data. She also touched on government-wide technology initiatives, such as harnessing the Technology Modernization Fund and other agency working capital funds for capital planning, identifying new acquisition models for co-creation, and reskilling the workforce.

The next session featured a panel of CIOs describing the emerging technology landscape, and touched on technology business management, blockchain attestation taxonomies, and human centered design. Attendees heard from Joseph Klimavicz, CIO, Department of Justice; David Shive, CIO, General Services Administration; and Jose Arrieta, CIO, Department of Health and Human Services.

A highlight of the program was the first public speech by the newly confirmed Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator, the Honorable Dr. Michael Wooten. He debuted his strategic priorities for OFPP and for government-wide acquisition initiatives. As a recent Federal agency acquisition leader, he discussed the importance of communication with industry and also within government to inform individual department and agency acquisition policies and strategies and maximize the benefits to agencies.

Martha Dorris, from PSC member company DCI, lead a “fireside chat” with Chief Data Officers Kris Rowley from GSA and Eileen Vidrine from the Air Force. This panel covered a wide range of issues, including treating data as a business driver, not a technical asset to be managed.

A panel of Department of Veteran Affairs leaders in customer experience then described and emphasized the digital transformation imperative for veterans (or for any organization) to have a quality experience interacting with the organization. They also focused on the concrete steps VA is taking to improve that “CX” result for veterans.  

The program concluded with a keynote address from the Honorable Thomas Modly, Under Secretary of the Navy. He discussed his “Top 10” list of priorities for the Navy that included speed, cost, and timeliness, all in the context of the industry ecosystem that is better than our adversaries, while acknowledging that the attributes have relevance across DoD and to industry. He also outlined an educational study initiative, the first in one hundred years, to re-tool and strengthen the Navy’s training and university system.

Special thanks to the PSC Tech Trends Conference Committee, co-chaired by Rob Stein (NetApp) and Alan Balutis (Cisco), who created an engaging agenda that was a must-attend for everyone in the federal technology community. A video summary of the Tech Trends Conference will be available soon. Click here to purchase the video library of the conference, which includes recordings of all sessions and keynote speakers. 

Tech Trends in the News
U.S. Navy to Name CDO, CTO, Cyber, Digital Chiefs Next Week
Meritalk.com | 9/16/19
The U.S. Navy is set to announce appointments to several senior IT leadership positions next week, said Thomas Modly, who began performing the duties of the Navy Secretary in July, at the Professional Services Council’s Tech Trends Conference Monday.

The Skill Sets Agencies Need in a Data-Driven Government
FederalTimes.com  | 9/16/19
Speaking at the Professional Services Council Tech Trends conference Sept. 16, GSA Chief Data Officer Kris Rowley said that GSA data practitioners are helping agency’s executives with their jobs by posting data analysis on a common GSA platform, which Rowley said is a "good disruptive mentality.”

Trump’s Top Acquisition Official Outlines Priorities
NextGov.com | 9/16/19
Newly-confirmed Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Michael Wooten laid out a set of tech-heavy priorities Monday as he prepares to shape the way agencies buy goods and services. In remarks made at PSC’s tech conference, Wooten said modernizing the policies that govern approximately $550 billion in annual spending represents a “huge opportunity,” but one government cannot undertake on its own.

Modly Acknowledges 355 Ships Won't Happen in 'Reasonable' Amount of Time
InsideDefense.com  |9/17/19
The Navy's second most senior civilian today acknowledged the service will not achieve its 355-ship goal in a "reasonable" amount of time and that without a $20 billion to $30 billion increase in annual funding, the Navy could only maintain between 305 and 308 ships.

HHS Touts First Recurrent Neural Network for Making Acquisition Plans
Fedscoop.com | 9/17/19 
The Department of Health and Human Services’ chief information officer said his agency has the first functioning, recurrent neural network in the federal government, and it’s using the machine-learning technology to help officials make acquisition plans. HHS’s network is the first “that I know of,” though the intelligence community “is doing some of this,” Jose Arrieta said at PSC’s Tech Trends Conference.

Procurement Chief Tees up Potential Changes in CSP-Government Relations
FCW.com | 9/17/19
The recently installed federal procurement chief said he's looking to expand data sharing among cloud service providers across government. OFPP Administrator Michael Wooten said that using technology to unlock innovation to mine the federal government’s vast "treasure trove" of accumulated data was one of his goals.

Where to Use AI and Other Tips From CIOs on Emerging Tech
NextGov.com |9/17/19
The chief information officers from the departments of Health and Human Services, Justice and the General Services Administration offered emerging tech ideas to feds at PSC’s Tech Trends Conference. “We’re using AI and machine learning in several areas,” said General Services Administration Chief Information Officer Dave Shive.

New OFPP Administrator Seeks to Reduce Risks of Federal Contracting through AI, Robotics
Federalnewsnetworkcom |9/23/19
In his first two public speeches last week, Michael Wooten hit all the expected notes that an OFPP administrator is supposed to reach—building on existing efforts like category management, upskilling the workforce, unlocking technology to create innovation and harnessing acquisition data to turn it into business intelligence. The concept of using software to address manual processes and compliance requirements would be a huge accomplishment, and maybe the biggest of any OFPP administrator in the last two decades.
Michael Wooten: Data Sharing Needed Between Government, Cloud Providers
ExecutiveGov.com | 9/18/19
Michael Wooten, administrator of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy, said he intends to expand the practice of data sharing between federal agencies and cloud service providers. At a Professional Services Council-hosted event, Wooten outlined his priorities to modernize the federal acquisition process and one is to build on current efforts to leverage the purchasing power through category management.