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January 22, 2009
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A sold out crowd of 150 descended on the Tower Club this morning for a hot breakfast and hotter predictions from an A-list Bisnow panel about what the Obama era holds for Federal IT. The consensus? Cybersecurity, ID management, energy efficiency, and smaller, more focused procurements are in. Guantanamo is not.


Big deal panelists included DoD Deputy CIO Dave Wennergren, Navy CIO Rob Carey, recently retired e-Gov Tsarina Karen Evans, SRA CEO Stan Sloane, and government contracting pioneer Ed Bersoff. Special thanks to top companies Ernst & Young accounting, Sheppard Mullin law firm, and Kipps DeSanto investment bank—without who we would have been eating Lucky Charms in the parking lot.


This isn't the National Mall two days ago, but the atrium of the Tower Club a few hours ago as our attendees appeared to be doing billions of dollars in business while networking. We'll be waiting for royalty checks.


Power picture: Sheppard Mullin's John Chierichella, SRA's Stan Sloane, and DoD's Dave Wennergren. When it comes to cyber- security, Stan told the audience firms are doing a great job stopping traditional hackers, but need to focus on larger national security threats and organized crime. "Putting up boundaries like firewalls is wholly inadequate. We need to think in broader terms about how we share information and protect our systems."


We spaced the panelists around the room on barstools (and deprived them of food while the audience ate). Making a point above is Dave, who's # 2 on Bisnow's recent Power 50 list, joined by ace financier Bob Kipps. Dave said there's a Transition Guide for new government management to understand the role of the CIO, available for anyone online. Dave told the crowd he expects more government-wide initiatives like HSPD-12 that called for a uniform government ID. "There will be more of these directives and it's key for industry to make sure their products and services easily fit within them."


Karen Evans' term ended on Tuesday. Her big headline now that she's back in the private sector: She supports the push for an opt-in National ID card system, which her previous bosses opposed. Comparing it to bonus cards at the grocery store, Karen said, "Privacy is going to be huge, but people already show they are willing to give up privacy in return for certain services." As for Karen (here with Stan  Sloane), she says she's happily retired and is the subject of her daughter's high school social studies project.


ATS' Ed Bersoff, GuerraKiviat Associates Phil Kiviat and Spectrum Training Brokers' Nat Emery. Ed told the audience the opportunities that industry expects with the shrinking government workforce might not happen: "The bad economy has caused many would-be retiring government employees to hold on to their jobs to refill their 401k."  He also said Obama may inspire more people to enter public service.


CIO Rob Carey (here with Ed) told the audience the Navy is looking to get "leaner and meaner" by developing more efficient systems to tackle specific problems. Rob says he, like most in government, isn't looking to purchase new major systems, but to make small changes to fit needs. "People will come to me with a product or service and I'll think in my head how I can use that, but what I really want is for them to address a specific problem I have and be able to take care of it immediately."


Ernst & Young Strategic Growth Markets Leader Herb Englert predicted that Internet security and green energy initiatives will be the big winners under the new Administration.


Project Solutions Group's Erin Figueroa, HP EYP MCF's Joy Soldwedel and Blair Plother, and Criterion's Kevin Coyne. HP EYP MCF is not code, but a unit of Hewlett Packard that designs data centers with everything from heating and cooling to plumbing. The women said they watched the inauguration on TV instead of braving the cold, so we weren't surprised when Joy said she just returned from vacation in St. Martin.

David Stegon is at Twin Tech III tonight. If you missed his interview earlier this week with Mark Amtower on Federal News Radio you can hear it here. Send story ideas to David@Bisnow.com.

Marymount University
Cardinal Bank
Casa Noble
Kipps DeSanto

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Zegna Adrian Jules Dormeuil email Tech Bisnow Sent Using iContact