Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Technology Coverage, Then and Now

ARCHIVES

Our sister site Nextgov launches officially today, with a bevvy of stories on the intersection of technology and government. With that launch, it would be proper to take a look back at a couple of the first technology stories appearing in Government Executive magazine and on GovExec.com.

First, April 1995 provided -- our digital archives only go back to 1996, so a link is not available -- "The Lure of the Web," a story introducing the World Wide Web to our readers. In it, reporter -- and current Editor in Chief -- Tom Shoop outlined his experience "logging on" to the web and his thoughts on the future of the technology:

Even with the development of [THOMAS and the Federal Register], much of the Web's potential for federal users has not yet been realized. But it's hard to imagine that a research and communications tool this vast and easy to operate won't find its way to everybody's desktop in the near future.

It's important to remember that this was written in 1995, when some members of the current GovExec staff were in elementary school. The web was in its infancy and a lot of our readers were not familiar with the technology. Nearly a year later Lisa Corbin wrote a longer piece on the upside and pitfalls of the nascent technology. In "Cyberocracy," she predicted some of the problems illustrated recently during the SOPA fight:

But the road to cybergovernment is not without its potholes. Internet technology is still immature, with many incompatibility problems affecting the interoperability and reliability of systems. Experts continue to debate the best methods for safeguarding data and protecting intellectual property rights on the Web.

Reporter Joseph Marks' May 2012 magazine profile of federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel shows just how large and ingrained the web has become in government operations and the day-to-day life of citizens:

[VanRoekel's third phase] includes building internal government mobile apps so that federal workers at animal inspection lots along the U.S.-Mexico border, for example, or at a river contamination site can file reports on their smartphones or tablet instead of trudging back to a field office at the end of each day. It also includes using technology to wrap the complexity of federal government into a cleaner citizen interface. VanRoekel calls this an “outside looking in” perspective.

An early example is the BusinessUSA website, which the federal government launched in a beta testing version in January. The site aims to pull all the forms and information that a small business entrepreneur needs from the government onto a single site so that the government rather than the citizen worries about which form goes where.

Government Executive magazine and Govexec.com have been covering technology since the Internet's beginnings. With the relaunch of Nextgov, we move forward with the most comprehensive and insightful coverage of technology in government and in the lives of citizens. Although the issues are far more complex than they were 12 years ago -- remember Y2K or the fight over personal Internet usage at work? -- Government Executive Media Group remains at the scene.

 

Prior to joining Government Executive’s staff, Ross Gianfortune worked at The Washington Post, The Gazette Newspapers, WXRT Radio and The Columbia Missourian. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from University of Missouri and a master's in communications from the American University.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.