The evolution of digital technologies and practices is advancing at a faster rate than ever before, revealing new and innovative ways to improve productivity and disrupt the norm. Federal agencies, with their shrinking budgets, are finding it difficult to keep up. Although several large-scale IT modernization and digital transformation initiatives are underway to help close the gap, they are predominantly multi-year and multi-million-dollar investments that carry considerable risks for failure. Agile and DevSecOps practices mitigate some of those risks, but often federal agencies are handcuffed by complex contracting processes that typically do not permit experimental innovation or tolerate failures. Lean Startup, a proven model to build, measure, and learn through experimentation, nearly always comes with a hefty price tag. At eGlobalTech (eGT), we witnessed these challenges first-hand and decided to invest in our own incubation program. The strong entrepreneurial spirit instilled by our late founder Sonya Jain drives us to incubate innovative ideas and build reusable tools. This eGT culture naturally led to the perfect chemical concoction that created “eGT Labs”—a corporate sponsored R&D arm focused on incubating high-value, reusable solutions, industry partnerships, and thought leadership designed to further our client’s mission and capabilities—and our Incubation as-a Service model for innovation.
A Grass-Roots Movement
Keeping in line with “necessity is the mother of invention,” a unique and complex customer problem was the seed that gave birth to this model. Our project team at a federal agency built a sophisticated and complex total cost of ownership (TCO) model using Excel spreadsheets. We are talking about 50+ worksheets with 3.5 million heavily nested formulas and about 400-500 columns. It produced magnificent cost predictions that came close to actuals and the tool was regarded as the Rosetta Stone by its users. The problem was that Excel does not scale and it became very hard to keep it up-to-date and fix defects. Besides, loading a 20GB Excel file is no picnic. It was obvious that we needed an automated, web-based platform. As a result, we invested our own resources and created the eTCO application. This gave birth to eGT Labs.
What Services Does eGT Labs Offer?
Our primary goal is to work with existing federal clients with whom we have established contracts. At no additional cost, we provide shrink-wrapped Incubation as-a Service for short-term engagements to prototype solutions that can dramatically improve outcomes. This Incubation-as-a-Service is composed of multi-skilled digital analysts and engineers who work in a DevSecOps model, leveraging leading open-source technologies, tools, and cloud platforms. An engagement could come about through a recognized client need or an opportunity uniquely discovered by our project team. Regardless, we shed our contractor status and act as true partners invested in our client’s success.
Over the past few years, this model has resulted in the following high-value tools and products that are actively utilized in our projects at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS):
End-to-end DevSecOps framework designed specifically to align with federal Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) standards and capable of rapidly transforming nascent business objectives into production-ready, secure, functional, and usable software.
100% open-source tool that automates deployments of entire application stacks to the cloud in a single click. For more information, visit www.cloudamatic.com.
Automates and integrates web application security vulnerability testing as part of the continuous integration and continuous delivery pipeline, enabling early detection and faster remediation of vulnerabilities while ensuring that only secure code is deployed.
Electronic Total Cost Ownership (eTCO)
Stand-alone, web-based cost analytics model and visualization tool with 400+ metrics enabling users to model “what-if” scenarios and gain deeper insight on true cost of ownership of their data center infrastructure.
Other interrelated services offered by eGT Labs includes:
Tools development to support ongoing advancement and maturation of technology tools
Managed cloud hosting services
Thought leadership on the applicability of emerging concepts and technological practices conveyed through white papers, case studies, and hackathons
Industry partnerships with leading software and cloud providers to enhance our knowledge and expertise
Journey into 2018
One of eGT Labs’ latest technology incubation experiments is called “Site Monitor,” a cloud-hosted, web-based tool that continuously monitors the security posture of innumerable enterprise-wide websites and maintains up-to-date compliance with newly released mandates by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Site Monitor can perform on-demand scans, access compliance-related data quickly, display data in an easy-to-digest manner, and suggest the appropriate network security upgrades to achieve compliance. While it is actively being used by a prominent cabinet-level agency, we plan to release Site Monitor for general availability this summer for adoption at other agencies. Our roadmap for 2018 is filled with several initiatives concurrently being executed. They include:
Establishing additional features and capabilities to our current toolset for integration into new projects
Maturing our “Social Profiler,” a social media analytics prototype
Releasing white papers on applicability of emerging technologies and practices such as blockchain, machine learning, and artificial intelligence
How Can Customers Leverage our Incubation-as-a-Service?
Customers can reach out to their eGT project teams if they are interested in learning more about one of our eGT Labs products or starting a conversation on how eGT Labs can help kickstart their digital innovation agenda. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
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