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DDS helps Navy keep an eye on drones near ships

When the Navy sent hospital ships to New York City and Los Angeles for relief during the early surges in COVID-19, the Defense Digital Service stepped up to help in a way you might not expect: DDS lent the Navy its counter-unmanned aerial systems platforms to keep an eye on drones flown into the airspace nearby the ships. While the drones didn't directly threaten harm to anyone on the ships, they did pose a threat to operations, particularly helicopters that would fly onto and from the vessels. Ultimately, DDS gave the Navy situational awareness of the airspace around the floating hospitals and came away with some key insights into the flight patterns of domestic hobbyist drones. Billy Mitchell has the scoop.

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Federal tech if Trump is re-elected

If there are another four years under President Trump, it's likely the administration would double down on its efforts to use data to make decisions and replacing outdated systems with emerging technologies, Michael Rigas, acting deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, said Thursday. For instance, the next President's Management Agenda would include a Cross-Agency Priority (CAP) Goal of having data inform decisions like how agencies interact with the private sector. “We need to do a better job of leveraging data like this to improve our engagement with the private sector and, more broadly, the use of data should inform all or our actions,” Rigas said. On top of that, the administration would more fervently push for use of robotic process automation, he said. Dave Nyczepir has more.

SBA deals with back-and-forth of pandemic IT scaling

The Small Business Administration worked vigorously to scale up its workforce to support COVID-19 loan assistance programs earlier this year, and now it must scale back down. According to CIO Keith Bluestein, because the systems aren't cloud-enabled, it won't be easy, especially if it needs to inevitably scale back up again down the line. "Now that we know we’re here, how do you backfill to make sure that you have that infrastructure that is elastic and resilient?” Bluestein asked Thursday. More from Dave.

Navy's plan for single-tenant Microsoft 365

The Department of the Navy is moving to single-tenant instances of Microsoft 365, CIO Aaron Weis wrote in a newly released memo. Under the plan, the Navy and Marine Corps will each adopt their own single-tenant instances of Microsoft 365’s software-as-a-service business email and productivity applications, which Weis said is a “foundational step” in implementing the Navy’s identity, credentialing and access management (ICAM) strategy and moving users closer to “one email for life.” Jackson Barnett has the story.

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