Enabling Rapid Innovation in Government
I’m the “cinephile” in my community. I have a regular email list of 10-20 guys whom I’ll ping for impromptu movie nights. When I travel for work, I’m always trying to “sneak in a movie” after hours. During Oscar season I am especially vigilant to try and see as many Best Picture contenders as possible before the Big Night.
This past weekend I saw Zero Dark Thirty. It was particularly interesting to me, as Adobe’s Digital Media solutions consultant for the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community (DoD/IC). As such, I was looking for any sign of Adobe software that might have been used to apprehend suspected terrorists — just as I do when watching Homeland — because hey, I might have sold it to them!
Of course, which specific software is leveraged by which specific agency for which purpose is often classified information. However, I can tell you that many of the latest innovations in Adobe software help keep America safer and more secure, whether it’s for rapid intelligence gathering, secure data dissemination, high-quality visualization, or forensically analyzing and reconstructing digital evidence.
One of the challenges I encounter frequently when servicing this community is reconciling some of Adobe’s newer policies around its Digital Media tools like Photoshop, Premiere Pro and the Creative Cloud, with our customers’ needs to function in completely secure, classified network environments. Adobe’s recent changes to its software activation policy for the Creative Suite products has rendered a once-simple process of double-click software deployment to offline computers more challenging for end users, but easier for their supporting IT departments who use our Enterprise Deployment tools. While software deployment has arguably never been a “simple” task for any enterprise, Adobe’s desires to simplify deployment, license management and software authentication for one community of customers (i.e. those who enjoy unfettered internet access at their desk) invariably complicates it for another.
I have blogged about this issue on our Enterprise Deployment blog, and even created a 60m webinar and walkthrough video to address many of our customers’ IT deployment needs in these environments. However, in the technology landscape today, “the only constant is change.” New information will be forthcoming as our licensing models and core product offerings continue to evolve.
The continuing evolution and “consumerization” of IT has been a hot topic for many large Government agencies, and I had the opportunity to attend a Cloud Computing panel at the Adobe Government Assembly this past Tuesday. During this panel, Keith Trippie, Executive Director of Enterprise Systems Development at the Department of Homeland Security, revealed some interesting anecdotes about his agency’s reliance on a hybrid of public/private cloud services for some of their core IT needs like records/document management, email, case/relationship management, authentication/identity services and even desktop imaging. One pull quote was: “If it’s sensitive, it goes in private cloud; if it’s not sensitive, it goes on public cloud. But as public clouds become more secure, storing sensitive data there becomes an option.”
DHS and many other federal agencies are keen to unlock the rapid innovation emerging from industry and establish frameworks to enable innovation, but are often stymied by their agencies’ outmoded and overlong acquisition, budget and program cycles. In my recent experience discussing the Creative Cloud with longtime enterprise customers, I hear those sentiments loud and clear: “We absolutely want the latest capabilities to design rich, responsive, standards-compliant HTML5 applications and leverage Adobe’s bleeding-edge tools, services and updates, but our procurement policies and regulatory requirements have not significantly adapted to accommodate subscription-based offerings or public cloud services yet.”
We in the Digital Media Government group are here to help end-users and the IT community to advocate for your enablement and access to the mission-critical tools and services that Adobe provides. Please reach out and let us know how we can help your agency advance the conversation and evolve the existing frameworks around enabling rapid innovation.