After giving listeners a quick background on AIS, the interview began with explaining the concept behind this GSA innovation. As most listeners know, the cloud and tools to get in and out of the cloud are changing so quickly that enterprise organizations seek ways to use the cloud effectively. In today’s rapidly changing environment, it is exceedingly difficult to list a set of requirements and finish a project based on those requirements. One innovative approach is from the GSA called the 18F initiative.
Essentially, this is an attempt to assemble teams of technology experts that form and re-form groups that can address technology problems throughout the federal government. The first step was to solicit companies who could take a data set and come up with creative ways to respond to a short list of GSA requirements.
During the interview both McNutt and Miller detailed the AIS approach to responding to the request and why they were selected. They discussed some of the choices at their disposal, including license-based and open source solutions as well. The key is to have a wide background at problem solving and having the expertise to select the correct tool for an ever changing landscape of system problems.
This is an attempt by the GSA to formalize a flexible way to develop software. Companies like AIS have showed ability to respond quickly and have shown that organizations can brainstorm, share documents, and collaborate to solve thorny information technology issues.