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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

GCN Awards and the power of partnership

One of the more common concepts I hear government and industry officials talk about is partnership between the private and public sector.

The need to collaborate has never been greater when you look at the budget crunch, the challenges the country faces and the technology revolution we are living through.

No single agency can face the constant demands on its resources and the daily threats to its infrastructure.

But getting to that partnership is hard. There are misunderstandings about risk, reward and responsibilities. Who is accountable when things go wrong?

As hard as it is, it’s not impossible, and the GCN Award winners and the industry and public sector executives of the year are great examples of the power of partnerships. The winners were recognized this week at the annual GCN Gala. GCN is a sister publication to Washington Technology.

Industry Executive of the Year Tony Cole of FireEye Inc. spoke about partnership, as did Government Executive of the Year Doug Wolfe, CIO of the CIA.

Wolfe, in particular, offered the groundbreaking example of hiring Amazon Web Services to build a cloud infrastructure for the CIA that will bring greater collaboration and innovation to the 17 member agencies of the intelligence community.

The focus needs to be on availability of the system, security and customer service. “If we take care of those three things, there is no limit to the innovation we can bring,” he said.

Security is the overarching challenge for FireEye as it helps the market shit from static defenses to more dynamic ones. While that is a technology shift, it also is a shift for people and processes.

“And everything is a team effort,” Cole said.

GCN Hall of Fame inductee Michael Krieger said the success of his job as Army Deputy CIO/G-6 depended on collaboration with other branches of the military, the Defense Department and industry.

“Government IT is a team sport and success just isn’t possible without collaboration,” he said.

It’s easy for all of us to get caught up in the failures, but one of the real values of programs like the GCN Awards is the reminder that things can work and work well. These are examples worth emulating.

To read more about the GCN Awards and why these winners including the 10 projects that were recognized for excellence, click here.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Oct 15, 2014 at 9:23 AM

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