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Archive: November 2015

Federal agencies are targeting the IT talent gap

Posted on November 30, 2015

Of all the cyberattacks over the course of the past few years, the Office of Personnel Management breach has arguably weighed the heaviest on federal officials. Earlier this year, an estimated 21 million former and current government employees had personal information pilfered as a result of the OPM incident. The breach also resulted in biometric data of more than 5 million government employees being exposed to cybercriminals.  Read More


Massachusetts turns to tech for improvement of public services

Posted on November 24, 2015

State and local governments are doing their part in improving life for residents through the adoption of new technology. Nebraska is expected to save millions of dollars over the next decade thanks to data center consolidation. Baltimore is trying to improve quality of life for its residents with big data strategies. San Francisco is improving the morning commute by using real-time video surveillance.  Read More


GAO uncovers huge setback to federal data center consolidation

Posted on November 23, 2015
Category: Data Center

U.S. government agencies are being hard-pressed to improve IT infrastructure services. Earlier this month, the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act scorecard revealed that the majority of the 24 graded agencies are significantly underperforming, with more than half of the agencies receiving a letter grade of D or lower.  Read More


Federal workers continue to ignore mobile best practices

Posted on November 19, 2015
Category: Cybersecurity

Federal IT infrastructure is due for an overhaul, and by most measures, it would appear that U.S. IT leaders are doing what they can to make this happen. A bevy of policies such as the cloud-first initiative and the Federal Information Technology Acquisitions Reform Act have been implemented over the last five years in an effort to enhance federal IT services. Furthermore, the Government Accountability Office has continued to prod federal agencies to implement more efficient IT infrastructure. A recent example comes in the form the November 2015 FITARA scorecard. By and large, the scores were below average among agencies, but the fact that GAO continues to monitor the progress of these agencies is a sign that government technology services are becoming a priority.  Read More


Federal CIOs have their work cut out for them

Posted on November 17, 2015

The federal government is currently identifying ways to maximize the efficiency of federal IT infrastructure. So far, data center consolidation, cloud migration and big data strategies have all been addressed as ways in which federal agencies can save money on IT budgets while improving operational efficiency.  Read More


Can big data give the US economy a jolt?

Posted on November 13, 2015
Category: Cloud Computing

Many big claims have been made about the power of big data to fix problems. Seattle is leveraging big data to fight crime, Connecticut is using it to bolster public transit, and Baltimore is seeking toimprove quality of life for residents with recently announced big data strategies.  Read More


Connecticut improves public transit with real-time data

Posted on November 10, 2015

State and municipal governments across the U.S. are looking for new ways to make the most of technology, both as a way to cut costs and to improve daily life for residents. For example, in Baltimore, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is employing big data strategies in an effort to improve quality of life for the city's estimated 622,793 residents. Meanwhile, Seattle is using big data to create real-time crime maps, and San Francisco is employingsurveillance cameras to improve the morning commute for hundreds of thousands of people.  Read More


NASA benefits from data center consolidation

Posted on November 03, 2015
Category: Data Center

Data center consolidation is exactly what it sounds like: The consolidation of data from multiple server locations into only a few, or even one, data center location. The benefits typically include considerably lowered costs of operation, as data centers demand expenses in terms of property ownership and management, and in energy costs to keep the center up and running. For this reason, local, state and federal government agencies have been increasingly focusing on data center consolidation. In Nebraska, for example, the state government recently outlined a plan to save millions of dollars through data center consolidation by migrating information stored in multiple servers throughout the state into two data centers.  Read More


Federal IT leaders push for innovation

Posted on November 02, 2015

Federal IT infrastructure has been targeted for serious renovations for a while now. The Cloud First Initiative, which kicked off in 2011, represented one of the first earnest attempts to virtualize federal IT services and encourage data center consolidation. However, execution has been slow out of the gates. Many agencies continue to adamantly distrust the cloud, and are holding fast to legacy technologies, despite continual prodding from the highest-ranking federal IT leaders.  Read More

AWS and Security

Posted on January 18, 2012 0 comments

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

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

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

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

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

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


New Amazon announcement and the future of government mobility

Posted on November 01, 2011 0 comments

A much heralded, recent new product announcement got (and is getting) a lot of press and speculation. I am talking about the launch of the new Amazon Kindle line. But what is so exciting? After all, the Kindle is just a book reader and is no competition for other devices from Samsung, Cisco and many others, including the one I am writing this entry on, the IPAD. Right?  Read More