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NORTHCOM, Silicon Valley team up in coronavirus fight

The military’s Northern Command says it is using new apps developed with Silicon Valley’s help to allow personnel deployed at civilian health care facilities to communicate directly with commanding Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy. “I was concerned about how we were going to control them, how we were going to keep in touch with them,” the general said, “so we went back to our technology efforts.” The project included working with data specialists like Palantir and Esri, with assistance from Apple and input from Monkton, a company that handles app security. O’Shaughnessy and others say the effort represents a completely new way for military personnel in the field to provide information directly to the top. Jackson Barnett has the details.

A Message From AWS Educate

With over 1,500 institutions and hundreds of thousands of students who use AWS Educate, we wanted to take you on a trip around the world and highlight how students are learning and innovating with the cloud. Learn more.

Think now about the digital infrastructure of the future

Aaron Newman, founder of CloudCheckr and a board member of the Alliance for Digital Innovation, says America must look to its past to understand the need to vastly improve its digital infrastructure as it confronts the coronavirus pandemic. He notes the investment that the U.S. made in itself after World War II, and says similar efforts will be necessary: "Investing in a modern digital backbone now serves as a powerful force multiplier for other dollars spent in the future." Read the op-ed here.

A UX upgrade for the Cloud Information Center

The General Services Administration launched the Cloud Information Center this time last year to be a central repository connecting agencies with cloud service providers, but the focus back then was on consolidating resources and not user experience. The agency made time to focus on the UX deficiencies, it said Wednesday, addressing design flaws that limited the CIC's ability to keep agencies informed of new cloud solutions. Dave Nyczepir has more from GSA.

Coast Guard tries an 'i911' service for mariners

Anybody with an emergency in the waters of the Pacific Northwest can now communicate their location to the Coast Guard in a new way. The agency is taking advantage of phone-tracking services to locate distressed mariners up to 20 nautical miles offshore through the "i911" app. While the Coast Guard describes the software as “groundbreaking," it behaves like similar technology already used by law enforcement and consumers. It does represent, however, a step in a more modern direction for an agency whose legacy IT systems are on the “brink of catastrophic failure,” according to its top officer, Adm. Karl Schultz. Jackson explains the new tech.


How agencies can master their data to deliver better services

Harnessing federal data for AI and faster analytics requires a foundation of enterprisewide data management and good governance strategies. For agency leaders, it’s not that the technology isn’t readily available. More often, the problem is putting the pieces in place to develop a coherent data strategy. Perhaps the most important action agencies can take right now is integrating their CDOs into the lines of business, say IT experts. Read more from Michael Anderson and Sherry Bennett.

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