Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Amy Eager, Pat Romanski, Rene Buest, Yeshim Deniz, Michel Courtoy

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
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datanami has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datanami is a communication channel dedicated to providing insight, analysis and up-to-the-minute information about emerging trends and solutions in Big Data. The publication sheds light on all cutting-edge technologies including networking, storage and applications, and thei...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Silicon India has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Published in Silicon Valley, Silicon India magazine is the premiere platform for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions and allows IT vendors to learn about new solutions that can help grow their business.
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets.
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EnterpriseTech has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. EnterpriseTech is a professional resource for news and intelligence covering the migration of high-end technologies into the enterprise and business-IT industry, with a special focus on high-tech solutions in new product development, workload management, increased effi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organi...