In this week’s news roundup we take a look at the ways that agencies are innovating with data and IT to offer more services to citizens and constituents. From a collaboration between NOAA and the US Geological Survey that has created 3D maps of our oceans, to solutions that help citizens access vital services more quickly the power of IT-driven innovation is immense. Have an example of an agency putting IT to work for mission success? Share it with us on Twitter.
Agencies Leverage Big Data to Create 3D Maps
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have combined forces to turn data into sophisticated 3D maps of our oceans. According to a recent NextGov article, the USGS is leading an initiative that takes data sets generated by NOAA and creates 3D maps “that fuse global geospatial and climatology data with information from 52 million ocean points taken over the last five decades.” These maps and data sets will enable researchers and citizen scientists to more closely monitor and understand the health of the world’s oceans. And, according to NOAA Administrator, Kathy Sullivan, there’s plenty of more data available. Want to learn more? The full story is here.
How Can You Harness the Power of Mobility?
Federal agencies have been eager to adopt choose-your-own-device policies not only to boost productivity and drive mission success, but also to improve worker morale. However, a recent report from analyst firm, IDC, has pointed out that many organizations are yet to realize the cost savings and continue to be concerned about security vulnerabilities that consumer-grade devices introduce into the agency environment. So how can agencies realize the vision they had for mobility? According to a recent research report from 451 Research “cloud apps and services can prove integral to improving the potential of mobile devices – providing users with access to enterprise-class solutions while giving IT teams an opportunity to maintain necessary levels of control.” This is particularly true when it comes to security, since data no longer resides on the device, but in the cloud, where additional layers of protection can be afforded. There’s much more to learn and you can do that here.
Department of Health and Human Services Releases Guidance on Use of Cloud Services
As more service providers, insurance companies, and other medical-related providers store health data in the cloud, there are legitimate concerns about the integrity of that information. Few guidelines exist about how it should be managed in the cloud and the responsibility that cloud services providers have. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released guidance for cloud services providers last month that should help clarify responsibilities and obligations. Chief among the recommendations: ensure that data is encrypted at rest and in motion.
As more agencies store personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI) in the cloud, these rules from HHS should provide a solid foundation, if not a blueprint to ensuring information integrity in the digital age. You can get more details here and find some questions to ask your cloud service provider here.
Innovative Case Management Solutions Deliver Success and Happy Citizens
One of the things most people dread is interacting with a federal agency to apply for benefits or resolve a complicated problem. Traditionally, these interactions have been rated poorly by citizens because of long wait times, incomplete service, and because they are onerous, requiring citizens to move from phone to web site to physical office in order to complete an action.
But what if agency workers were empowered with new tools that enabled positive customer interactions, and that made decision intensive casework (such as is required for applying for Social Security benefits, Veterans benefits, and Medicare) easier? Gartner recently released a report on 14 vendors that are taking a non-traditional approach to case management frameworks by creating “configurable apps that help solution architects accelerate the delivery of unique and flexible case management solutions.”