We look forward to a new year and new opportunities for innovation and growth in the government contracting community. This past year, we experienced an increased emphasis on big data, insider threat, merging technology with health care, and the internet of things, among others.
WashingtonExec reached out to those most knowledgeable and experienced in the federal contracting space. We asked executives in and around the Beltway for insight on the direction they see the government contracting community heading in 2018. Topics discussed include M&A activity, public/private sector collaboration, cloud computing, the incoming millennial workforce in defense/IT/health care, talent retention and more.
Next in the series is Mark Testoni, president and CEO at SAP NS2. He is responsible for management, sales, consulting, product support and go-to-market strategy for SAP’s most secure and sensitive U.S. government markets, customers and partners. Here are his insights:
In 2018, I believe we will see broader adoption of machine learning and artificial intelligence by both private and public sector. We have seen the commercial market use it successfully to glean insight into their customers’ satisfaction and sentiment on their brands.
The oceans of data our national security professionals are faced with has now turned into a data tsunami. AI and machine learning tools can siphon through the morass of information, highlight relationships not apparent to the mind unassisted, and even suggest likely future outcomes or actions of bad actors.
To have a chance at keeping up with the asymmetric threat facing our homeland and critical infrastructure, adopting these tools is fast becoming essential to our national security.
We will see a sharper focus around the integrity of this tsunami of data we are collecting, storing and protecting. Since the advent of IT organizations, government and companies have been focused on perimeter defenses of their networks, systems and value chains.
However, the emergence of stakeholder collaboration, consumer service levels, BYOD, cloud services and the proliferation of IoT devices all have created endpoints that are virtually boundless. In recent years, we’ve brought more focus to looking inside our networks and addressing anomalies, but security remains a largely defensive and two-dimensional affair.
The dawn of more sophisticated encryption capabilities and new emerging distributed technologies like blockchain will allow us to bring a third dimension to cybersecurity and the integrity of information.
This third dimension compliments the perimeter and self-assessment capabilities and drives security into the data sets through distributed ledgers that use the community to validate integrity. Technologies like blockchain will become an integral and uniquely transparent part of the security calculus through its use of distributed ledgers and a community security approach. Coupled with keyless encryption, we think this will change how not only government, but all industries protect their critical networks.
Millennials have made a mark by challenging conventional approaches and focuses. They also are the leaders applying tech and the sharing economy principles to our lives. Leverage both of these strengths to bridge the gap between the commercial tech industry (Silicon Valley, Austin, Boston) and government.
Closing the chasm is amongst the most important national security goals in the next five years. Our government should have access to current technology from the point of the spear to the national leadership, with the ease that we access Amazon or other online capabilities today.