Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Ed Featherston, William Schmarzo, XebiaLabs Blog, Peter Silva

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Government Cloud

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Bob Gourley on the Ethics, Analytics and Future of Big Data

How does Bob Gourley, founder and CTO of Crucial Point, LLCand Editor of the popular tech blog CTOVision.com define big data?

Bob Gourley, editor of CTOvision as well as  founder and CTO of Crucial Point, LLC, was recently interviewed by WashingtonExec, where he shared his views on emerging information technology, government needs, and Big Data.

The original article can be found here, and the interview is reproduced below:

How does Bob Gourley, founder and CTO of Crucial Point, LLCand Editor of the popular tech blog CTOVision.com define big data?

WashingtonExec caught up with Gourley to talk about what he learned from his time in government that has guided him in the private sector, what he predicts will be “the next big thing” for the IT industry, and also gave an update on the 2012 Big Data Solutions Awards.

Securing IP addresses, banking apps and predictive analytics were also discussed in this interview.

WashingtonExec:  Could you start out by telling us a little about your background?

Bob Gourley: My background was an operational intelligence officer in the Navy where I did all source intelligence support to operational forces.  In the last four years of my career I was doing intelligence support to new missions of cyber security.  I then spent time in industry, where I worked primarily on the strategy and technology development side.  From there I went back into government as the Chief Technology Officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency.  I was there during a period of enterprise consolidation and enhanced support to military operations.  I left DIA in late 2007 and began writing for technologists like me; enterprise CTOs.  That gave rise to the blog CTOVision.com.

——————————————————————————
“I joke around and I say it’s a little like being in the mafia – you can never really leave the government.  Once you’ve been in they keep you in.  They bring you in for studies, assessments, panels and advisory boards – I really enjoy that kind of thing.” ————————————————————————–

WashingtonExec: How have you gained 9,000 monthly subscribers or followers?  What made you start CTOVision.com?

Bob Gourley: I had messages that I wanted to provide for others but it was also in part for me; a way to force myself to keep learning and to keep studying the new technologies coming over the horizon. I would be doing that even if I just had a handful of readers.  I really think I would be studying and writing.  As I started writing people started reading and started contributing to the blog by providing comments or suggesting articles or suggesting themes that we should address.  That is when the readership started growing – when there was more interaction.  As people began to interact via Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter the dialogue continued.  We began a series of newsletters that are fed by the blog and there to spread by word of mouth. A couple of lessons learned; one is I think any writer would tell you it takes a discipline . . . you need to set agendas and goals for yourself and keep writing.  Another is, it really pays to listen to your readers because your readers will tell you their hardest problems and their challenges. I also run the government big data newsletter.  It’s a way that I stay in touch with people weekly that are interested in the big data topic in the federal government.

WashingtonExec:  How do you balance between publishing lots of content and making sure that your content is always relevant and interesting?

Bob Gourley: That’s a great question.  I take lessons from my time in industry. At TRW, the view was that you want to be the best at building satellites. If you build them good enough the government will come to you for them, no matter what. So you hire the best people, invest in the best R&D, design the best satellites, and all that discriminates you so you win the business.  The same lessons of seeking differentiation apply elsewhere.  We run a tiny blog but I want that to be differentiated.  If we publish three articles a day that add value, that’s terrific.  If we go a week without publishing except for one article that adds incredible value – that’s terrific.  We’re about adding value not how much we post. So I work with the best writers and focus on topics others can’t touch.

Our team of writers, including senior technology analysts Ryan Kamauff and Alex Olesker and a long list of guest bloggers, all focus on their own differentiation as well. Ryan tends to write more about hot consumer technologies that have an impact on enterprises. Alex tends to write more about analytical tools, Big Data and advanced cyber solutions.

WashingtonExec:  What did you learn in government that has helped you as a private sector CTO?

Bob Gourley: I joke around and I say it’s a little like being in the mafia – you can never really leave the government.  Once you’ve been in they keep you in.  They bring you in for studies, assessments, panels and advisory boards – I really enjoy that kind of thing.  I like the camaraderie and the espirit de corps; I like the big missions of government and I like seeing people do incredibly well. A lot of folks that make the transition out of a government career into industry I believe have similar feelings – you want to contribute and make sure that things progress in government.

WashingtonExec:  Why do you think we’ve seen this big explosion of government needing big data products? Data mining has been around for awhile.

Bob Gourley: As long as there have been computers there has been data. A certain group of data scientists started using the term big data to describe a new approach focused on making better use of all of your data, not just for business intelligence but for asking any question.  This requires new designs.  It requires things like Apache Hadoop.  It requires things like commodity hardware used at scale and a lot of other specific capabilities.  When these technologists and architects and designers use the term big data that’s what they are referring to. People should not use that term to just mean large quantities of information or doing business the old way.

WashingtonExec:  Why do you think we are seeing this new trend of the government now keeping track of unstructured data and social media trends?

Bob Gourley: It is the area where data is growing the most.  When data is generated by machine you think the machine generated data is going to be all structured. The growth of video and images – there’s some structure there.  There’s metadata on top of the images that has structure but the images themselves are just full of unstructured information.  Part of it is the need because that’s where the massive quantities of data are is in this unstructured information.  Also you want to do analysis over things important to human beings and the humans are good at generating this unstructured information.

———————————————————————
“I think a growing important field is on the ethics of big data and there’s multiple elements of that.  I think that every one of us citizens should be interested in but especially those of us who deal with the federal government should be interested in.” ———————————————————————

WashingtonExec:  Do you think that current cyber security standards . . . do you think current laws need to be updated?

Bob Gourley: I think a growing important field is on the ethics of big data and there’s multiple elements of that.  I think that every one of us citizens should be interested in but especially those of us who deal with the federal government should be interested in. A thought leader in this domain named Kord Davis has written severalposts at CTOVision for us on the ethics of big data including topics like identity, your reputation in the age of big data and also the ethics around data ownership and data identity and IP addresses.  For example is an IP address traceable to human beings and therefore does it deserve the privacy a person deserves? These are ethical issues that I believe all citizens should be interested in but especially people around the federal government. With some of these big data solutions we can inadvertently threaten some of the privacies that our citizens expect if we are not extremely careful.

WashingtonExec:  For example, do you have a banking app on your phone?  I have one, should I delete it?

Bob Gourley: I do not and I’m not sure that I ever will.  If I do have a banking app it will be for one account where I don’t have much money and much of an exposure to it. I can already say there is a risk there. Questions you should ask yourself: did that app collect any information on your location? Since it is your bank if you use your bankcard at that grocery store will they know what you buy? There are big data solutions that could actually get a little bit creepy.  That’s the kind of thing that I think we as citizens need to think through and as a society need to figure out how we are going to deal with this.

WashingtonExec:  How do you see big data in things like predictive analytics changing the way the IT community operates?  Do you think this is a major trend?

Bob Gourley: What is that next big thing?  Guys in my community were talking about cloud computing a decade ago.  We were talking about big data four years ago.  What are we talking about right now because it is going to be widespread in the next couple of years?  I’m not exactly sure, my crystal ball doesn’t always work but I think the next thing after big data is big analysis.  That remains to be seen of course but the point I’m trying to make is that this is not the end of history, things will continue.

WashingtonExec:  What is your Twitter bio?

Bob Gourley: My Twitter bio is extremely short.  I say that I’m a CTO.  I then go on to say where you can find me – you can find me at CTOVision.  I also say that national security, cyber security, enterprise IT and technology are key topics of interest.  That’s kind of me in a Twitter nutshell.

WashingtonExec:  What is something most people might not know about you?

Bob Gourley: Most people probably don’t know that I was a bartender all through college and that’s where I learned how important it is to connect with people.

WashingtonExec:  What is your favorite application?  What application do you find most useful on your phone or on your tablet?

Bob Gourley: Chrome is the best application in the world.  With Chrome you can do anything; it connects you to the web and it can help you find any application that you need.

WashingtonExec: What made you want to start the big data solutions awards? How can people apply?

Bob Gourley: This is an annual award.  It’s been around two years and it is designed to highlight the successes of government organizations in big data solutions.  The key point is we think by highlighting the successes we can share their lessons learned with others across government.  It is so easy to apply.  You just go to CTOVision.com and there is a nomination form.  We would definitely appreciate hearing from anybody who has a nomination to make there.

This post by was first published at CTOvision.com.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to connect your brand strategy with the right consumer. 24Notion ranked #12 on Corporate Social Responsibility - Book of List.
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
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...
Adobe is changing the world though digital experiences. Adobe helps customers develop and deliver high-impact experiences that differentiate brands, build loyalty, and drive revenue across every screen, including smartphones, computers, tablets and TVs. Adobe content solutions are used daily by millions of companies worldwide-from publishers and broadcasters, to enterprises, marketing agencies and household-name brands. Building on its established design leadership, Adobe enables customers not o...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, 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. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
What does it look like when you have access to cloud infrastructure and platform under the same roof? Let’s talk about the different layers of Technology as a Service: who cares, what runs where, and how does it all fit together. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Phil Jackson, Lead Technology Evangelist at SoftLayer, an IBM company, spoke about the picture being painted by IBM Cloud and how the tools being crafted can help fill the gaps in your IT infrastructure.
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of (at least) three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the back-end service, and the mobile application for the end user’s controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target –...