Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Bob Gourley, Kevin Jackson, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Government Cloud, Open Source Cloud, @CloudExpo

Government Cloud: Article

Open Government Clouds

Accelerating e-democracy through cloud computing

You wouldn't typically combine the words 'Government' and 'Innovation' in the same sentence, but actually it's the ideal way to highlight some of the most essential and exciting points about Cloud computing.

Although the technology can lower operational costs by moving processes 'into the Cloud', up to 90% in some cases of government adoption, it's not the full extent of the benefits. It can also go hand in hand with 'Open Transformation' of the processes themselves, utilizing "Crowdsourcing" approaches to fully leverage all aspects of what modern technology offers.

Cloud Bursting Efficiency
The key ROI dynamics of Cloud are elasticity and new technology adoption.

IT organizations can improve their cash flow by avoiding lots of unnecessary hardware capital costs, and they can break 'Innovation Gridlock' by opening up Web 2.0 type environments to users and developers to increase the capacity of how much new technology is successfully pioneered and adopted.

This makes it especially relevant to Web applications, which have an extremely variable usage pattern, in comparison to their legacy counterparts. Typically these are their core business systems which sit behind the firewall and have a fixed headcount profile of internal staff users, a predictable IT scenario, but instead web sites must contend with the fact that they can sit idle for days and then in one hour experience a huge surge in traffic which then dies away again.

The Terremark case study is a headline example of how Cloud is ideal for this. The American government is moving their hugely popular USA.gov site to an Enterprise Cloud facility to enjoy "Cloud Bursting Efficiencies" and reduce costs by up to 90% by doing so.

Not only that but they are also gaining new Identity Management technologies into the mix, multi-factor authentication tools required for GSA compliance. As the online 'Digital Identity ecosystem' continues to mature, such as increasing adoption of Open identity standards these types of capabilities will become increasingly important and out of reach of most gov IT teams. Outsourcing to Cloud providers will be the smarter option.

Open Innovation
Vivek Kundra
, White House CIO, recently received the industry accolade of number two in the 'Cloud Top Ten' for pioneering this type of evolution.

As he writes recently this is not just about technical advances or even the cost savings, but equally important is the adoption of new best practice business models too that the technology can enable. This is going hand in hand with Cloud platform investments to radically re-invent just what government IT is and what it's capable of.

In particular this includes 'Open Innovation', through the Open Government program his colleague Beth Noveck leads. This is Barak Obamas initiative to transform government agencies to become more open and accountable to the public via online web reporting, such as the numerous examples provided via the Whitehouse innovations gallery.

As her own flagship project illustrates, the Peer to Patent portal is not just about more open reporting for people to passively look at, it's actually about re-engineering the process itself to transform it from 'closed' to 'open', in terms of who and how others can participate.

Open Innovation is the best practice defined by Henry Chesborough of Berkeley, essentially describing "Open Source Business", new approaches to business models operated by sites like Innocentive, where they use "Crowdsourcing" techniques to create new types of R&D organization. Rather than hire lots of employees, they simply use the web site and voluntary inputs from the public, transforming the process from a closed to an open version that is faster, cheaper and produces better outcomes.

Beth provides a detailed case study of the thinking behind her project in this 40 page Harvard white paper. She describes how the agency was building up a huge backlog of patent applications due to a 'closed' approach where only staff from the USPTO could review, contribute and decide upon applications.

Not only did this cause a bottleneck due to the number of resources being utilised but also in terms of the volume and quality of subject matter expertise being applied. With no involvement from outside contributors, such as experts from the scientific community, then awards were being granted for applications based on very limited and often inaccurate knowledge.

By moving the workflow online to a Web 2.0 environment they have been able to "open up" the workflow to a distributed community of experts from across many different organisations, and apply collective efforts to increase both quality and speed. Automating these workflows and integrating them into online communities means they can greatly reduce the administrative bureaucracy and so ultimately be aligned against governments various 'Red Tape Reduction' type initiatives, helping to achieve "Fast-Track Government".

More Stories By Cloud Best Practices Network

The Cloud Best Practices Network is an expert community of leading Cloud pioneers. Follow our best practice blogs at http://CloudBestPractices.net

@ThingsExpo Stories
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
"IoT is going to be a huge industry with a lot of value for end users, for industries, for consumers, for manufacturers. How can we use cloud to effectively manage IoT applications," stated Ian Khan, Innovation & Marketing Manager at Solgeniakhela, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Onalytica. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to impr...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
"ReadyTalk is an audio and web video conferencing provider. We've really come to embrace WebRTC as the platform for our future of technology," explained Dan Cunningham, CTO of ReadyTalk, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at WebRTC Summit at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, drew together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established compa...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, discussed why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and mor...
We are always online. We access our data, our finances, work, and various services on the Internet. But we live in a congested world of information in which the roads were built two decades ago. The quest for better, faster Internet routing has been around for a decade, but nobody solved this problem. We’ve seen band-aid approaches like CDNs that attack a niche's slice of static content part of the Internet, but that’s it. It does not address the dynamic services-based Internet of today. It does...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...