Innovating for Impact: Jamie Holcombe on Transforming the USPTO’s IT Landscape
In his interview with Francis Rose, Jamie Holcombe, the Chief Information Officer at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), discusses the significant shift from project-based to product-based approaches in their IT department. This change involved dismantling the Program Management Office and assigning business owners to lead product teams in major areas such as patents, trademarks, back-office business, and shared services infrastructure. Holcombe emphasizes the importance of aligning IT projects with the USPTO’s mission, streamlining processes for efficiency, and encouraging a culture of challenging the status quo. He also highlights USPTO’s unique fee-based structure, which demands accountability to fee payers, and the agency’s focus on quarterly strategy reviews to ensure continuous progress and adaptation.
- Shift from Projects to Products: USPTO has shifted its IT focus from traditional project management to a product-based approach, empowering business owners to lead and prioritize IT initiatives, ensuring alignment with the agency’s mission.
- Cultural and Process Transformation: The transition involved changing the organizational culture to embrace new ways of working, encouraging innovation, and adopting a more tactical, results-oriented approach with quarterly reviews.
- Emphasis on Augmented Intelligence and Zero Trust: Holcombe discusses USPTO’s use of AI for classification, search, and fraud detection, focusing on augmented intelligence to enhance examiner capabilities. He also touches on the importance of advancing in the zero-trust journey, emphasizing the need to address all pillars of security beyond just user authentication.
Links Mentioned On Air:
Navigating the Clouds: Tricia Fitzmaurice on Multi-Cloud Management and Edge Computing in Government IT
In an interview on “Fed Gov Today” with Francis Rose, Tricia Fitzmaurice, the Vice President of Sales for Rancher Government Solutions, discusses the evolving landscape of cloud migration for federal agencies. She explains how containerization and Kubernetes are key drivers in this transition. Fitzmaurice highlights that containerization has been crucial for agencies moving workloads to the cloud, offering portability and adaptability across different cloud environments. Kubernetes serves as an orchestration platform, managing these containerized workloads. She addresses the challenges agencies face in managing multi-cloud environments, emphasizing the need for a unified management platform that enhances security without increasing technical debt. Fitzmaurice also delves into the growing demand for edge computing, underscoring its importance in both defense and civilian contexts for processing data quickly and efficiently in mission-critical situations.
- Containerization and Kubernetes as Catalysts: Containerization has enabled federal agencies to migrate workloads to the cloud efficiently, while Kubernetes orchestrates these workloads across various cloud platforms.
- Challenges in Multi-Cloud Environments: Managing different clouds separately can be complex. Agencies seek solutions that can integrate and manage these environments cohesively, especially for enhancing security and complying with regulations like Executive Order 14028 on secure supply chains.
- Rising Importance of Edge Computing: Edge computing is becoming increasingly vital in both defense and civilian sectors for processing data where the mission is happening, enabling rapid decision-making even in low connectivity areas. This advancement addresses the need for immediate data processing in various operational environments.
Revolutionizing Retirement Savings Access: Mangala Kuppa on the Department of Labor’s Innovative Online Registry Project
In her interview on “Fed Gov Today,” Mangala Kuppa, Director of Business Application Services at the Department of Labor, discusses the department’s latest initiative funded by the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF). This project involves establishing an online registry to assist citizens in finding unclaimed retirement savings and benefits. Kuppa explains the project’s genesis, rooted in the Labor Department’s mission to support various aspects of the workforce, including military transition to civilian life and mine safety. The primary challenge addressed by the project is the billions of unclaimed benefits within the system. The project aims to provide an accessible tool for individuals to check for any unclaimed benefits, enhancing customer experience and increasing cybersecurity posture. Kuppa outlines the project’s timeline, aiming for completion within the calendar year 2024, and emphasizes the importance of an iterative development process focused on delivering minimum viable products for early value realization.
- Focus on Mission-Centric IT Projects: The Department of Labor’s project to create an online registry for unclaimed retirement benefits aligns with its broader mission to serve various workforce needs, emphasizing the importance of mission-focused IT initiatives.
- Effective Use of Technology Modernization Fund: The Department of Labor’s strategic use of the TMF for funding essential projects demonstrates the effectiveness of leveraging such funds to enhance public service and cybersecurity.
- Agile and Iterative Development Approach: Kuppa highlights the department’s commitment to agile development, focusing on delivering minimum viable products and engaging closely with customers and stakeholders to ensure the solutions meet their needs and provide immediate value.