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The Cloud Grows Up

May 11, 2015 Comments off

The Cloud Grows Up
Source: Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics conducted a global survey of 200 business and technology executives to better understand how companies are using cloud platforms. Consistent with an earlier version of the same survey, the results show widespread enthusiasm about the cloud’s transformative potential – but with a more mature appreciation of the challenges and payoffs as it moves along Gartner’s “Hype Cycle.” Investment remains strong and many companies are already reaping the benefits as the cloud becomes the primary platform for business.

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CRS — Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic (March 30, 2015)

April 3, 2015 Comments off

Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

This report provides references to analytical reports on cybersecurity from CRS, other government agencies, trade associations, and interest groups. The reports and related websites are grouped under the following cybersecurity topics:

• Policy overview
• National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC)
• Cloud computing and the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP)
• Critical infrastructure
• Cybercrime, data breaches, and data security
• National security, cyber espionage, and cyberwar (including Stuxnet)
• International efforts
• Education/training/workforce
• Research and development (R&D)

In addition, the report lists selected cybersecurity-related websites for congressional and government agencies; news; international organizations; and other organizations, associations, and institutions.

UK — Emerging technologies: big data

February 18, 2015 Comments off

Emerging technologies: big data
Source: Cabinet Office

In this paper, ‘big data’ refers to:

  • large volumes of data with high level of complexity
  • the analysis used for the data that requires more advanced techniques and technologies to gain meaningful information and insights in real time

The main trends include:

  • the emergence of cloud computing
  • new software tools and database systems for large, unstructured datasets,
  • refining analytical tools so that they can process vast quantities of data in near-real time
  • monetisation of big data sources
  • concerns around privacy of data and intellectual property
  • the rise of global smart cities

CRS — Overview and Issues for Implementation of the Federal Cloud Computing Initiative: Implications for Federal Information Technology Reform Management (January 20, 2015)

February 11, 2015 Comments off

Overview and Issues for Implementation of the Federal Cloud Computing Initiative: Implications for Federal Information Technology Reform Management (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Cloud computing is a new name for an old concept: the delivery of computing services from a remote location, analogous to the way electricity, water, and other utilities are provided to most customers. Cloud computing services are delivered through a network, usually the Internet. Some cloud services are adaptations of familiar applications, such as e-mail and word processing. Others are new applications that never existed as a local application, such as online maps and social networks.

Since 2009, the federal government has been shifting its data storage needs to cloud-based services and away from agency-owned data centers. This shift is intended to reduce the total investment by the federal government in information technology (IT) (data centers), as well as realize other stated advantages of cloud adoption: efficiency, accessibility, collaboration, rapidity of innovation, reliability, and security.

See also: Analyzing the Federal Government’s Use of the Cloud (Brookings Institution)

KPMG Report: Global Business Executives See Cloud Driving Business Transformation And Improving Customer Alignment

December 30, 2014 Comments off

KPMG Report: Global Business Executives See Cloud Driving Business Transformation And Improving Customer Alignment
Source: KPMG

New data from the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP, show the increased use of cloud technology by global business to better connect with their employees and customers. In a new report, titled “Elevating Business in the Cloud,” the firm outlines the results of its 2014 Cloud Survey and interviews with more than 500 global executives from the financial services, retail, health care, media, and pharmaceutical industries. The report contrasts select aspects of the 2014 survey results with data collected in the 2012 edition of the survey, and outlines important shifts in the usage of and attitudes toward the cloud.

According to the executives in the 2014 survey, the top use of cloud remains driving cost efficiencies (49 percent), as was evident in the 2012 version (48 percent). However, the 2014 survey results reveal that in increasing numbers, organizations are using cloud technology to enact large-scale change, whether within individual business units or across the enterprise. These transformative uses of cloud include: better enabling a flexible and mobile workforce (42 percent) and improving alignment and interaction with customers, suppliers and business partners (37 percent).

IBM Study: Organizations Struggling to Defend Against Sophisticated Cyber Attacks

December 18, 2014 Comments off

IBM Study: Organizations Struggling to Defend Against Sophisticated Cyber Attacks
Source: IBM

More than 80 percent of security leaders believe the challenge posed by external threats is on the rise, while 60 percent also agree their organizations are outgunned in the cyber war, according to findings released today by IBM (NYSE: IBM). The study additionally reveals that technology is seen as a critical component in addressing these security issues and threats, with big data, cloud and mobile named as the most significant areas of prioritization.

IBM’s third annual Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) study was conducted by the IBM Center for Applied Insights and is based on responses from 138 in-depth interviews with the surveyed organizations most senior security leaders. Sophisticated external threats were identified by 40 percent of security leaders as their top challenge with regulations coming in a distant second at just under 15 percent. As enterprise leaders continue to outline business priorities, external threats will require the most organizational effort over the next three to five years – as much as regulations, new technologies, and internal threats combined.

EU — Being human in a hyper-connected era – The onlife initiative

November 11, 2014 Comments off

Being human in a hyper-connected era – The onlife initiative
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The “Onlife Initiative”, a project launched by the Commission’s DG-CONNECT, explores the societal consequences of on-going digital transition. DG-CONNECT will present the conclusions of this project during a STOA workshop in the European Parliament on 2 December 2014.

The STOA workshop takes as its evidence-base that mobile broadband access to the internet, the Internet of Things, big data, open data, cloud-computing, social networks, and new forms of internet-based collaborative and co-creation models, (such as commons-based peer production and crowdsourcing), result in the ever-increasing pervasiveness of ICT in all aspects of our lives.

The digital revolution is clearly on its way. Governments are deploying e-government and e-participation systems, and in the political sphere, the new concept of online e-democracy clearly challenges the old representative democratic model invented by the Ancient Greeks. Progress in robotics, artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, self-driving vehicles, drones and smart factories may result in the massive automation (between 30-50%) of existing jobs in the next 20 years and will require changes to the education system for the new jobs that may be created.

Long-term prospects for health look promising and are aided by the rapid development of technologies such as low powered electronics, 3D printing and nanotechnologies. The application of the latest advances in gaming technologies to the learning and teaching environment already allows for dramatic improvemenst in education and vocational and education training in some sectors, such as medicine – a trend which looks likely to grow in the future. According to economists, the increased use of ICT in all sectors of the EU economy would be, all other things being equal, the most sensible way of increasing labour productivity and therefore growing the EU’s GDP per capita.

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