An IT modernization report issued by the White House’s American Technology Council and Office of American Innovation suggests agencies channel funds away from legacy systems to modern technologies and agile practices.
Sarah Fahden, the chief of the Verification Program Portfolio at USCIS, said the journey to being a dev/ops or agile shop started quickly after DHS made the project a high priority modernization program almost six years ago.
At the Food and Drug Administration, a cloud advisory board and innovation lab are collaborating to evaluate ideas and move good plans forward quickly.
In a July 26 letter to DHS Chief Procurement Officer Soraya Correa, several vendors who had been awarded spots to participate in FLASH offered encouragement and appreciation to the agency despite the disappointing outcome of the attempted contract.
The Homeland Security Department is looking beyond the "DevOps" trend -- blending development teams with operations teams to encourage closer collaboration and quick deployments -- with the intention of adding security teams into the mix.
"[Agile development] is about getting us into the 21st century, but it was a huge change for us and a huge learning curve," says Kate Goodrich, director and chief medical officer at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Using agile methods to update multiple pieces of its verification system while still maintaining the legacy system for customer use, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) is 'changing the tire while driving," according to Federal News Radio.
Wes Haga, chief of missions applications and infrastructure at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, says the old methods of procuring new system builds were so slow - 60 to 84 months - the technology was often outdated by the time it was ready to use.
While FLASH was flawed, it showed the tremendous potential of running a contracting process that rewards excellence at designing and building working software, rather than competence in writing proposals and navigating bureaucracy.
FLASH’s cancellation is likely a reflection of the challenges agencies have setting up new initiatives, and observers should not take it as a sign agencies don’t have an appetite for agile software development services.