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Archive: July 2015
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Government cybersecurity still an issue

Posted on July 31, 2015
Category: Cybersecurity

Recent hacks against retail giants like Target and government organizations like the U.S. Office of Personnel Management have thrown a stark light on the effects of not protecting vital citizen and government data. Hackers are getting smarter, and government agencies especially have a duty to the public they serve to make sure confidential data stays out of the hands of malicious actors. To this end, big data analytics play an important role in how government organizations can learn how to address these issues.  Read More

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In a push for government organizations to be more transparent about their inner workings and more efficient in the way they serve the public, agencies are turning to government technology solutions. More and more voters are beginning to utilize technology to give vital feedback about how their elected officials and city processes impact their daily lives, and this is made possible through innovations concerning government IT solutions and applications. A 2012 study from the Pew Research Center found that 34 percent of American adults contacted a government official via online methods, and 39 percent participate in political activities on social networking sites.  Read More

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Municipalities are beginning to realize the benefits of open data policies. Government's use of big data is gaining ground, and it's helping local agencies better serve citizens and maintain public safety. For instance, according to Government Technology, transit authorities are using a standardized data system only possible through the use of open data. The General Transit Feed Specification, because it has common data formats and feeds, has allowed developers to streamline app development.  Read More

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Technology helps government agencies simplify processes

Posted on July 23, 2015
Category: Cloud Computing

Government organizations are growing fonder of utilizing technology to streamline and strengthen processes that used to eat up time and resources. Cloud computing and other forms of technology are helping to make unseemly government processes a thing of the past and free up staff time to invest in other projects for the good of the community.  Read More

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Government cloud computing gains steam

Posted on July 23, 2015
Category: Cloud Computing

Federal, state and local government organizations are starting to make the shift toward the cloud. According to CloudTech, the cloud is gaining ground in government agencies despite slow rates of adoption. Government incentives are transforming how health care organizations store their medical records in the cloud, and the Department of Defense is moving toward using more cloud-based processes in the future. What does this mean for the rest of the government agencies still struggling with the idea of the cloud?  Read More

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An update on government cybersecurity in the cloud

Posted on July 23, 2015
Category: Cloud Computing

Cybersecurity continues to be an issue for government organizations. A survey conducted by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium found that federal information security experts have a poor view of the government's cybersecurity in general, with almost 50 percent of respondents saying the government is seeing no return on recent security investments. Recent attacks against organizations have spurred more conversations about the effectiveness of government cybersecurity measures.  Read More

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Big data can help government agencies strengthen cybersecurity

Posted on July 21, 2015
Category: Cybersecurity

For federal, state and local government organizations, cybersecurity is a growing concern. High-profile hacks and breaches of government data are on the rise, indicating a need for stronger defenses and better education when it comes to keeping their data safe. For instance, at the beginning of June, the Social Security numbers and other confidential information was stolen from the Office of Personnel Management. According to The New York Times, 21.5 million federal employees were affected by the hack, making it the largest cyberattack into internal federal systems.  Read More

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Every day, government agencies are using technology to improve the lives of the public they serve. Health care, energy use, pollution control and general well-being of the people in their jurisdictions can all be made better through the use of smart innovations. Government technology solutions like the integrated apps and cloud computing can be crucial tools as agencies seek to better provide services and promote civic engagement.  Read More

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How can government agencies use wearable technology?

Posted on July 15, 2015
Category: Cloud Computing

It seems like wearable technology is everywhere these days. The Apple Watch is one of the frontrunners in the industry, along with Google Glass and others like it. These kinds of devices are popular among the public already: according to Reuters, the Apple Watch had already sold 2.79 million units as of mid-June, and the numbers keep rising. People are using these devices for everything from shopping to activity tracking, but how can federal, state and local government organizations benefit from the big data generated by wearable tech as well?  Read More

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An Internet of Things government update

Posted on July 10, 2015
Category: Cloud Computing

Federal, state and local agencies are continuing to realize the benefits of the Internet of Things. This network of interconnected sensors can potentially deliver valuable data on all kinds of public concerns. The IoT adds to the growing wellspring of government big data, helping agencies realize community improvement goals and strengthen civic engagement.  Read More

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Cloud computing for government: Why adopt the cloud?

Posted on July 10, 2015
Category: Cloud Computing

Many state and local government agencies are making the switch to cloud computing, and they are reaping the benefits across the board. According to a recent report from Forbes, many organizations are moving to a true “cloud first” orientation, beginning to host more data and applications in the cloud. Slowly but surely, more agencies are reporting that they have experienced cost savings, scalability and outstanding levels of data security when they started implementing government cloud computing strategies.  Read More

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Government virtualization: a quick guide

Posted on July 08, 2015
Category: Cybersecurity

Government organizations of all levels are making the shift to virtualized desktop environments, with federal agencies leading the way. The Joint Staff at the Pentagon made the effort to convert to a virtualized desktop model in 2014, and the U.S. Army is now making that switch, according to Federal Times. There are distinct advantages of government virtualization. Here is a quick guide.  Read More

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Data sharing helps agencies work smarter

Posted on July 01, 2015

Interdepartmental data sharing is one way to improve relationships within government agencies and, as a result, positively impact community relations down the road. Proper government data management is crucial to maintaining many federal, state and local systems and to bolstering communities affected by these agencies. Big data and open data work together to strengthen communications between departments and thus give agencies the information they need to best serve the public.  Read More



TechAmerica Foundation SLG Cloud Commission releases report

Posted on February 16, 2012 0 comments
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Today the TechAmerica SLG Cloud Commission (SLG-CC) is releasing their final report on Cloud for State and Local Government. The commission’s goal was to further the adoption of cloud by State and Local governments and to educate them on the benefits of cloud and how to procure it. This commission is a direct followup from the Cloud comission that TechAmerica formed at the request of former CIO Vivek Kundra whose focus was Cloud in the Public Sector. The SLG Cloud Commission will specifically address some of the major roadblocks with cloud access and deployment that are unique to states and localities– including procurement practices – and deliver recommendations for surmounting barriers to cloud in their agencies.  Read More

Cybersecurity continues to be an area of focus in the federal government

Posted on February 08, 2012 0 comments
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In spite of enhanced efforts to implement better cyber security, federal agencies continue to succumb to cyber attacks. Cyber attacks targeting federal agencies’ systems and websites, and reports of network security incidents at federal agencies have soared 650 percent during the past half-decade, jeopardizing the confidentiality and integrity of sensitive government information.  Read More

A quick review of the PaaS Cloud

Posted on February 02, 2012 0 comments
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I recently created the latest chapter on the book I am writing about Cloud Computing in the Public Sector. It was the chapter I was dreading the most because it was on the PaaS (platform as a service) public cloud. This is perhaps the least understood, and certainly from all indications I have, the least used in the public sector at this time.  Read More

Data Analytics Drives Mission Effectiveness in the Federal Government

Posted on January 25, 2012 0 comments
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Although virtually every federal agency collects data, many of these agencies struggle with how to best turn it into useful information, to improve mission performance and effectiveness. Data is scattered across multiple sources and is poorly organized so it is hard for many agencies to make decisions based on that data. It’s really about gathering the massive amount of data, figuring out which data is most useful, and then making it understandable and usable to users whether public or within government. The end goal of data analytics is to be able to obtain a “single version of truth and actionable intelligence” in near real-time from the mounds of data.  Read More

AWS and Security

Posted on January 18, 2012 0 comments
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Recently an article came to light about a group of German researchers that found “Massive Security Flaws” in the Amazon Cloud(full article can be found here). This was a well done study that I am familiar with and I am sure the findings are pretty accurate. After all, how many of our users would patch their machines regularly, backup their critical data on a regular basis, and change their passwords on a frequent schedule without us in IT sending them reminders or enforcing some other harsher policy which necessitates that they follow a schedule for these things? A darned few, in my experience.  Read More

Cloud Security in 2012 & Beyond!

Posted on January 10, 2012 0 comments
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The year 2012 is upon us and I wanted to shed some light on one of the key technologies the federal government is going to focus on this year – Cloud Computing. At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando in October last year, the analyst firm rolled out its top 10 strategic technologies for 2012. It should come as no surprise that cloud is one of the technologies tapped for top ten. Cloud computing, social media, and mobile solutions also top research firm IDC’s top 10 predictions for the government IT market in 2012. Federal, state, and local governments will spend about $82.4 billion on hardware, software, and IT services in 2012, according to IDC Government Insights, and that investment will align with four key themes: operational efficiency, mobility, smart government, and economic stability.  Read More

Getting the Hybrid Cloud Right!

Posted on December 20, 2011 0 comments
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As many of you may know, I am writing a case study book highlighting some of the great ways that users in the public sector are taking advantage of cloud computing. I hope that this book will help the many of you who are “on the fence” about cloud to see the ways that others are realizing the benefits of cloud and spur you into action! One of the many goals of the book is to clear up the misconceptions and misunderstandings about the various cloud options that are available to you today. The book will also address who the major players are for each cloud model and the issues surrounding each of these models, not the least of which is the security issue.  Read More

A Good Definition of Cloud

Posted on November 29, 2011 0 comments
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I just read a post on another blog that spoke about the definition of cloud being “an application-centric approach to IT.” I was really floored by how much I think this definition really misses the mark. And that got me thinking. What is a good definition of cloud? As I did my research I came across this article at Cloud Advocates that claims there are 27 different definitions for cloud computing! Yikes! If we are all going to understand cloud and receive maximum benefit from the cloud, shouldn’t we all agree on the same definition? At least that would be a good starting point for further exploration.  Read More

Top Federal Initiatives and Technology Trends for 2012

Posted on November 09, 2011 0 comments
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Last week I got an opportunity to attend the Deltek annual FedFocus 2012 conference. There was a panel discussion on the current outlook for federal IT moderated by Chris Dorobek and featuring three folks very familiar to fed IT market watchers: Ray Bjorklund, Chief Knowledge Officer from Deltek; Richard Spires, Chief Information Officer from the Department of Homeland Security; and David Wennergren, Assistant Deputy Chief Management Officer at the Department of Defense.  Read More

Adding SPARC to the Cloud

Posted on November 04, 2011 0 comments
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I recently attended the annual OpenWorld conference in San Francisco. As usual there were lots of announcements for new products, new versions of products and — since the SUN acquisition — new chipsets and other hardware releases. But perhaps the biggest of all of those announcements was the one concerning cloud. The announcement was just this: The Release of Oracle Public Cloud. What, you ask? ORACLE is now in the cloud business? Isn’t that just another hardware vendor (like HP, IBM and Dell) announcing they have a cloud to compete with Google, Amazon and the like? Not really. In fact, there are a couple of significant differences. Here is why this is really important to us in the public sector. This cloud runs both SPARC and x86 workloads. This is something that not many other cloud providers can claim. While ORACLE was a little short on details, we do know this much: You will be able to run all of your existing Fusion applications, including CRM and HCM, whether they be SPARC or x86 based workloads.  Read More