Author Archive

Michael C. Daconta

Michael C. Daconta ( is the Vice President of Advanced Technology at InCadence Strategic Solutions and the former Metadata Program Manager for the Homeland Security Department. His new book is entitled, The Great Cloud Migration: Your Roadmap to Cloud Computing, Big Data and Linked Data.
Digital Government

Fears and fantasies about artificial intelligence

Despite the controversy it sparks, artificial intelligence is no longer an exotic rarity that only thrives in research labs and ivory towers; instead, AI applications are becoming mainstream in the public and private sectors.


Why Docker is disruptive

Application containers like Docker will simplify application deployment across multiple platforms, including across multiple cloud providers.

Digital Government

Is unit testing of software a waste of time?

The integration of testing into the coding part of the development lifecycle is a good thing, but don't go too far by fostering a brute-force, test-first and test-everything approach.


The fallacy of 'fog computing'

Cisco’s fog computing is an ill-conceived marketing metaphor that further confuses the cloud market.

Digital Government

Data transparency takes center stage

In the last few weeks, talk of data transparency is working its way into the national (dinner) conversation.


Irrational exuberance over cloud standards

Standards are vital to both cloud security and cloud interoperability, but it is foolish to think that an agency can influence the pace of technological maturity by policy or fiat.


In the cloud, Linux will win the OS war

For operating systems, you cannot beat Linux's high reliability and low cost.

Digital Government

Buzzword engineering, or the curse of Nicholas Carr

A good technical advisor can keep government managers from the consequences of ‘buzzword engineering.’

Digital Government

JSON vs. XML and the impact of design decisions

IT architects must understand their environment and requirements before they can wisely choose the programming tools that best meet their system or enterprise needs.


DARPA's dielets and the prominence of provenance

DARPA is using data provenance to track counterfeit electronic parts infiltrating the military supply chain.

Digital Government

Hadoop: The good, the bad and the ugly

Government IT managers should be wary of technology overreach and focus on Hadoop's known success areas.

Digital Government set poor requirements. Here's how to avoid the same trap.

Poor requirements definition for led to consumer confusion in signing up for Affordable Healthcare Act insurance.


Linked data takes a leap forward

The new version of the W3C Resource Description Framework will help government data managers publish their data as effective and usable linked data.

Digital Government

Stop the fear mongering over ICD-10: It's just another taxonomy

The complaints about the upgrade to ICD-10 health care codes illustrate common misconceptions about the organization and characteristics of big data sets.

Digital Government

What data architects can learn from food labels

When the FDA and the First Lady recently proposed revised food labeling, they were refactoring information – a low-cost mission multiplier government IT managers can replicate.

Digital Government

Big data is just a stepping stone

Government IT managers need to shift the focus from the data producer to the data consumer and zero in on information extraction.


Cloud hosting is not (really) cloud computing

Agencies that resort to half measures in moving to the cloud will receive marginal benefits compared to those who use cloud-native applications.

Digital Government

Don't go chasing waterfalls … or programming languages

A programming language is a tool to achieve your agency's business objective; so be wary of the latest fads in niche programming languages.

Digital Government

Reduce IT failures with good CONOPS

A detailed concept-of-operations document will reduce IT failures because it has the ability to guide the development of the IT system.

Digital Government

It's time to tailor your programming metaphors

Is your project more like a garden or a building? The choice of metaphor should be tailored to the type and size of the project you are undertaking.