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Archive: April 2016
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The landscape of war has dramatically changed over the years. Putting boots on the ground is no longer the only option countries have in terms of subduing enemies, and this fact could make all the difference in the near future. Cyberwar is increasingly becoming a convenient and powerful tool, as it has the potential for disrupting communications, gaining intel and generally ruining a group's day. It should be no surprise that the U.S. as well as other nations are gearing up to use this method as a long-term strategy in accomplishing their goals.  Read More

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Businesses across all industries have been traditionally reluctant to migrate to new technologies and processes while leaving behind their tried-and-true practices. Sectors that are heavily regulated are even harder to sell on modernizing their hardware and software infrastructures due to the amount of considerations and challenges that can be introduced. It's no surprise, then, that the federal government has been slow to upgrade and is still gradually making changes to its IT portfolio.  Read More

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In order to help both private and public sector entities better protect themselves from hackers, malware and other threats, the Obama Administration recently created a new commission to help draft protection guidelines for organizations to follow. Officially dubbed the Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, the non-partisan group features 12 veteran leaders from large enterprises, leading Silicon Valley firms and government agencies. This group is tasked with presenting Congress in December 2016 with tangible steps both public and private organizations can take to bolster cybersecurity and ensure more robust data protection.  Read More

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Cloud computing has effectively taken over businesses in virtually every sector over the past few years. For government, the road to virtual platforms has been paved with roadblocks in the forms of security, budget and overall hesitance to change from tried-and-true solutions. Despite these challenges, many federal and local government organizations have adopted the cloud for their operations, and it's making a significant difference. Other agencies that aren't using the cloud are likely to start their journey to these platforms in the near future, and will begin reaping all the benefits the cloud can offer.  Read More

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Chatbots may be the next big thing in tech, and the technology could prove enormously beneficial in the public arena. Chatbots, although just known as bots for short, are a form of artificial intelligence, noted Hannah Francis, a Technology Reporter with the Sydney Morning Herald. A bot works by executing a command and formulating a particular response depending on what is typed in as the input.  Read More

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In order to help both private companies and public agencies better make sense of publicly-available data, a team of academics and consultants have teamed up to create a tool that visualizes and more effectively displays this information. The tool is called Data USA, and it provides a search engine-like interface to help interested parties learn more about locations, occupations, industries and more. The site also includes pre-made breakdowns to make it easy to determine everything from the highest earning jobs in real estate to the racial breakdown of poverty levels in Flint, Michigan. Data USA is still fairly new, so additional data and pre-made filters will likely continue to be added to it in the coming months and years.  Read More

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To help ensure mobile app developers don't run afoul of the law, a consortium of federal agencies recently created a tool that provides helpful guidance on health-related laws and compliance. The Mobile Health Apps Interactive Tool was created as a joint effort between the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Food and Drug Administration and the Office for Civil Rights. It is a simple, interactive checklist for those developing health-related apps to make sure their program is following various laws like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.  Read More

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The state of government security is drastically shifting to have a larger focus on cyberspace than ever before. Federal organizations deflect threats from malware, ransomware and viruses on a daily basis, but the risks are becoming more dire as time passes. Malicious parties are advancing their tactics as quickly as security firms are upgrading their solutions to fend off threats. This volatile environment is leading to numerous breaches and more determination to protect sensitive information under federal domain.  Read More

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As part of a broader effort to boost innovation and reduce costs across the board, the White House recently announced a new initiative that will make the code for all federal government software open sourced and available to everyone. In a late March blog post announcing the initiative, federal CIO Tony Scott said that going forward, all software that is designed or used only by federal agencies must have its source code be freely available. This will enable innovation, he said, by allowing a wider variety of parties to tinker and improve on government software. It also aligns federal government IT efforts more closely with private sector best practices. Plus, it hopefully eliminates the need to have to purchase multiple software licenses for different agencies, helping to streamline costs across the board.  Read More



How Cloud Computing Can Help Handle Big Data

Posted on October 19, 2012 0 comments
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Last week, I attended the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Public Sector Summit and had the pleasure of listening to some very interesting speakers and meeting some of the smartest people in cloud computing. The Summit showcased innovative work being done with ‘Big Data in the Cloud’ and I’d like to share some of my thoughts and observations.  Read More

It’s been an honor to serve on the TechAmerica Big Data Commission as a Commissioner with Darren House, a Data Center Technologist at GTSI, as my deputy. For the past four months, we collaborated with federal customers, members of academia, as well as several industry experts, on this important initiative. This comprehensive and first-of-its-kind report explains the underlying technology in simple terms, and identifies best practices and lessons learned from early efforts. The report also offers a set of policy recommendations and practical steps agencies can take to get started on Big Data initiatives.  Read More

The Temperature is Rising in the SDN Market

Posted on September 25, 2012 0 comments
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I recently attended a Cisco webinar on Software Defined Networking (SDN), which has become a very hot topic in the industry after VMware announced its acquisition of Nicira. Many believed this new technology would make Cisco nervous. It made for a good sound bite, but I guess I just wasn’t very hungry…  Read More

Next Generation Collaboration Solutions for the Federal Sector

Posted on September 19, 2012 0 comments
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Collaboration is a must for any team to succeed whenever they are involved in a process or common goal of any sort. According to Wikipedia, the definition of ‘collaboration’ is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals.  Read More

A Path to Cloud Compliance

Posted on September 06, 2012 0 comments
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Recently, I met with a government customer who made the following comment regarding his agency’s initiative to move to cloud-based resources: “I know I can handle the technical part of the migration, but it’s the red tape that I’m the most worried about.”  Read More

Does Mobility Really Mean Anytime, Anywhere, on any Device?

Posted on August 29, 2012 0 comments
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A few years ago I attended a conference with the theme “Anytime, Anywhere, on Any Device,” and I thought that was a catchy phrase. It is interesting to see that vision remained and the federal government is directing agencies to move towards that direction. The recently released Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American Peoplestrategy states “New expectations require the federal government to be ready to deliver and receive digital information and service anytime, anywhere and on any device.” That conference theme was spot on.  Read More

Emerging Technologies are Taking Big Data to the Next Level

Posted on August 22, 2012 0 comments
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In my previous blogs, I have discussed how big data provides significant advantages for the public sector – from helping agencies fight crime to providing event-driven operational intelligence. This week, I would like to discuss some big data technologies that are seeing fast adoption in the marketplace. Traditional data warehouses integrate and manage clean, structured relational data from diverse sources, and mine that data for actionable intelligence using Business Intelligence (BI) tools. However, challenges arise when agencies have to process unstructured data including full motion video, emails, voice, social networks, sensor-enabled facilities, web and biometrics data. By far, the technology getting the most attention in the market for analytic use cases involving unstructured big data at rest is Hadoop.  Read More

Did VMware just make SDN a game changer?

Posted on August 15, 2012 0 comments
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Following the recent VMware announcement regarding their intent to acquire Nicira , there has been a lot of talk about Software Defined Networking (SDN) and how it is a “game changer.” At a high level, SDN is a technology and standardization that separates the network control plane from the forwarding of frames/packets. This enables centralized control and management of a network infrastructure, which is the final step in achieving true agility through cloud computing. With SDN in place, organizations can dynamically provision compute, storage and network resources without manual intervention or time delays.  Read More