|By Bob Gourley||
|September 24, 2012 04:15 AM EDT||
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:
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.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Dec. 21, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 3,027
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 21, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 2,569
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Dec. 21, 2014 11:30 AM EST Reads: 3,119
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
Dec. 21, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,699
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Dec. 21, 2014 08:30 AM EST Reads: 2,909
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Dec. 21, 2014 06:15 AM EST Reads: 3,241
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
Dec. 20, 2014 11:00 PM EST Reads: 2,047
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 20, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 2,198
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. 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 development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Dec. 18, 2014 09:45 PM EST Reads: 1,976
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 2,328
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
Dec. 18, 2014 06:00 AM EST Reads: 1,363
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:15 PM EST Reads: 2,284
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 11:00 PM EST Reads: 2,282
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 2,284
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Dec. 17, 2014 06:30 PM EST Reads: 2,244
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:45 AM EST Reads: 2,373
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Dec. 16, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 2,255
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
Dec. 15, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 2,642
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Dec. 15, 2014 10:30 AM EST Reads: 8,222
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
Dec. 15, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 3,347