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DOD falls short on agile

The Department of Defense says nearly two dozen of its weapons programs are using “agile” software development, but according to a new watchdog report, those programs are falling short of industry standards. While the general definition of agile holds that software updates should occur every six weeks, 16 of the 22 self-described agile programs reported taking longer than that, the Government Accountability Office found. Other industry standards, like setting up software factories where code is written within a certain style framework to speed up collaboration, are only met by four of the programs. No programs claimed to follow the newly favorable DevSecOps methodology, according to the report. Jackson Barnett has more.

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.

A point-of-sale upgrade for GSA

The General Services Administration issued another contract under its CIO Modernization and Enterprise Transformation (COMET) blanket purchase agreement (BPA) for upgrading or replacing outdated backend procurement systems. The agency will modernize its point-of-sale (POS) system with a five-year, $5.2 million task order award to Karsun Solutions. Currently, GSA’s online and physical stores use Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System, which ceased development in 2015, for transactions. Karsun Solutions proposed the newer Microsoft Dynamics 365 Commerce, which runs on Azure, as the replacement system. Dave Nyczepir has the scoop.

Helping autonomous ships do more with less

The Navy is exploring how it can take its autonomous surface and undersea vehicles to go further with less connectivity. A small artificial intelligence company, GMATEK, will work with the Navy to “detect, mitigate and compensate for sensor degradation onboard unmanned surface and undersea vehicles,” according to a recent announcement. According to the company, it will apply "machine learning and deep-learning artificial intelligence technology to ensure remotely operated and autonomous vehicles can operate reliably under adverse conditions and with increasing degrees of failure in sensor components and systems." Jackson has the story.


How necessity revealed government’s potential to innovate

Agency leaders came under intense pressure to keep up with the demands for public services when offices shut down. Some have shown a remarkable ability to innovate in a hurry, illustrating the potential to transform government faster than many would have thought possible. In a new podcast, IBM’s Jay Bellissimo shares what the last few weeks have revealed about harnessing modernized technologies and he invites the federal community to hear more stories at IBM’s upcoming Think Gov virtual summit. Listen to the full conversation.

DOD could give contractors extension on Huawei ban

The Pentagon is considering giving defense contractors another year to fully prove they don't have any technology from Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE, as required by the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. The law bans the whole government from doing business with any company that “uses” several types of Chinese technology deemed to be a national security risk. The deadline is August, but the Department of Defense worries its contractors won't meet it, especially with the recent disruptions of COVID-19. Though the deadline would technically still be in effect, under an extension the department would change the requirements in contracting language allowing vendors more time to reach full compliance. More on the extension.

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