Modernization News

An interview with ADI Executive Director, Matthew Cornelius

Aveshka – Blog Series (August 13, 2020)

By: Carissa Nee, Director of Communications and Marketing, Aveshka

This past May, Aveshka became a formal member of the Alliance for Digital Innovation (ADI). I spoke with Matthew Cornelius, ADI’s Executive Director to talk about his views on Aveshka’s addition to the ADI membership as well as gain perspective on ADI’s near term moves to help modernize IT for the government.

Read the Article

Alliance for Digital Innovation Announce Five New Members

Alliance for Digital Innovation Announce Five New Members

Aveshka, Infor, Johnson Controls, SafeLogic, and Saildrone join
government technology modernization advocacy group

WASHINGTON (August 3, 2020) – The Alliance for Digital Innovation (ADI), the leading voice for commercial innovation in the public sector, announces five new additions to its growing membership. This diverse group of new members will help grow the organization’s expertise and influence in driving new and emerging technologies into the public sector.

“We are thrilled that Aveshka, Infor, Johnson Controls, SafeLogic, and Saildrone have joined ADI,” said Matthew T. Cornelius, ADI’s executive director. “This tremendous group of members bring unique expertise, perspectives, and capabilities that will enhance ADI’s mission to retire antiquated legacy systems and accelerate the government’s ability to buy and use innovative commercial technologies to achieve mission outcomes.”

About ADI’s New Members:

Aveshka: Aveshka is a thought leader that integrates strategy, technology, and innovation to deliver practical, yet cutting edge solutions that fortify and strengthen the nation against complex security threats. With its name derived from a Hindi word meaning “innovation” or “discovery,” Aveshka accelerates the advantage for its federal and commercial customer base, rendering them protected today and prepared for a safer and smarter tomorrow.

Infor: From citizen services and independent agencies to defense, intelligence, and healthcare, federal organizations need solutions to support their mission on the front lines—in the back office and on the home front. Infor provides the leading suite of FedRAMP authorized solutions for finance, HR, operations and maintenance, integrated and delivered in a multi-tenant cloud.

Johnson Controls: Johnson Controls delivers digital transformation solutions for physical security worldwide and transforms the environments where people live, work, learn and play. From optimizing building performance to improving safety and enhancing comfort, Johnson Controls drives the outcomes that matter most. Dedicated to protecting the environment, Johnson Controls delivers our promise in industries such as healthcare, education, data centers, and manufacturing.

SafeLogic: SafeLogic simplifies and accelerates FIPS 140 validation by combining CryptoComply, our family of drop-in encryption modules, and RapidCert, our zero-effort validation service, in a tandem solution for vendors of all sizes. FIPS 140 is a crucial requirement for Federal deployments and is a significant building block for FedRAMP and the upcoming CMMC.

Saildrone: Saildrone, Inc. is a provider of high-resolution oceanographic and atmospheric data, collected by its fleet of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), known as saildrones. Saildrone can operate year-round in any ocean on the planet, collecting data to inform maps and charts, climate models and extreme weather prediction, maritime domain awareness, and sustainable management of resources. Using clean, renewable wind and solar power, saildrones provide access to the world’s oceans at a fraction of the cost of traditional ship-based methods, while drastically reducing the carbon footprint of global ocean observation.

A full list of ADI’s members is here.

# # #

About the Alliance for Digital Innovation:

The Alliance for Digital Innovation (ADI) serves as a unified voice for commercial innovators with a mission of ensuring the public sector benefits from existing and emerging commercial technologies. ADI engages with government thought leaders to share emerging commercial technologies and to advocate for the removal of institutional and bureaucratic barriers to the operation of a modern digital government. For more information, visit

Media Contact for Alliance for Digital Innovation

Matthew Cornelius, Executive Director [email protected]

Shift Left: DevSecOps and the Path to Continuous Authority to Operate

NextGov (July 27, 2020) The faster a Defense Department of Defense organization can conceive, build and provide value to warfighters, the higher the probability of rapid mission success. However, obtaining authority to operate, or ATO, for DOD IT systems is typically a long, challenging—yet critical—process to ensure warfighters’ confidence in the technologies they use.

Read the Article

InsideStory Blog: ADI’s Matthew Cornelius on Securing the Federal Workforce during COVID-19

StoryPartnersDC (July 16, 2020) – by Matthew T. Cornelius (ADI Executive Director)

As was predicted when the government moved wholesale towards remote telework in response to the COVID-19 crisis, malicious activities targeting federal systems and employees rose dramatically. While nation-state adversaries increased their hacking operations, a proliferation of unintended vulnerabilities – those caused by the extreme reliance on legacy technologies, poor processes, and analog workflows created enormous cybersecurity threats in this dramatically altered, digital-first environment.

In addition to lackluster continuity of operations planning, too many federal agencies spent years (if not decades) and hundreds of millions of dollars on customized, ill-designed, and hopelessly obsolete technology “solutions” that were uniquely vulnerable to this massive shift in telework. These cumbersome, siloed systems impeded to the ability of agencies to deliver necessary services and information to citizens, critical infrastructure partners, other agencies coordinating response activates, and even their own employees, who were no longer based at a federal office or working almost exclusively on an agency network. Because employees still need to serve the mission and complete their tasks, they would often be forced to create workarounds or leverage technologies that might not authorized by agency cybersecurity offices – inadvertently creating a larger ecosystem within their agencies teeming with of new vulnerabilities, shadow IT, and, potentially large amounts of unintentionally exposed data and personally identifiable information.

However, there have also been some bright spots in the massive government shift to telework. Agencies that had begun embracing commercial cloud capabilities were able to handle more seamlessly a dramatic surge in remote access (through either VPNs or more modern commercial capabilities) or increased internet traffic (for online videoconferencing, etc.). Those with digital collaboration tools were able to manage workflow, while keeping data secure, and communicating effectively both internally and with their private sector partners. And, agencies already moving towards zero trust architectures increased their visibility and security around the devices and applications employees needed to access in order to perform their work duties. These commercial best practices and the proliferation of innovative technology solutions across these creative, forward-thinking agencies enabled them to address both known and unknown risks, maintain operational awareness despite constant change, and mitigate persistent cybersecurity threats… all while improving the efficiency and effectiveness of agency operations and digital service delivery.

Finally, it is important to understand that lessons are still being learned, even today, that will influence the future of federal IT modernization and continued maturity and agility in agency cybersecurity practices. Many of the significant changes over the past few months will remain for quite some time. Congress should continue to make appropriate, targeted investments to help agencies scale effective cybersecurity capabilities, retire legacy systems, and embrace the proven commercial technologies and best practices that have led the government through this crisis. These commitments are necessary and will enable federal agencies to plan for and manage next new challenge.

Read the Article

Major Ramp-Up in Use of OTAs

National Defense (July 13, 2020) Federal government spending on other transaction authority agreements has soared in recent years, a trend which could be accelerated by the response to COVID-19, experts say.

Read the Article