|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.
SYS-CON Events announced today that BroadSoft, the leading global provider of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) services to operators worldwide, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BroadSoft is the leading provider of software and services that enable mobile, fixed-line and cable service providers to offer Unified Communications over their Internet Protocol networks. The Company’s core communications platform enables the delivery of a range of enterprise and consumer calling...
Apr. 17, 2015 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,080
VoxImplant has announced full WebRTC support in the newest versions of its Android SDK and iOS SDK. The updated SDKs, which enable audio and video calls on mobile devices, are now compatible with the WebRTC standard to allow any mobile app to communicate with WebRTC-enabled browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and, when available, Microsoft Spartan. The WebRTC-updated SDKs represent VoxImplant's continued leadership in simplifying the development of real-time communications (RTC) services for app developers. VoxImplant (built by Zingaya, the real-time communication servi...
Apr. 17, 2015 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,743
SYS-CON Events announced today that GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applications - creating more engaging experiences for their customers and boosting collaboration and productiv...
Apr. 17, 2015 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,144
The IoT Bootcamp is coming to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo on June 9-10 at the Javits Center in New York. Instructor. Registration is now available at http://iotbootcamp.sys-con.com/ Instructor Janakiram MSV previously taught the famously successful Multi-Cloud Bootcamp at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in November in Santa Clara. Now he is expanding the focus to Janakiram is the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquired by Aditi Technologies. He is a Microsoft Regional Director for Hyderabad, India, and one of the f...
Apr. 17, 2015 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 768
SYS-CON Events announced today that Optimal Design, an Internet of Things solution provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Optimal Design is an award winning product development firm offering industrial design and engineering services to the consumer, medical, and defense markets.
Apr. 17, 2015 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,552
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vicom Computer Services, Inc., a provider of technology and service solutions, 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. They are located at booth #427. Vicom Computer Services, Inc. is a progressive leader in the technology industry for over 30 years. Headquartered in the NY Metropolitan area. Vicom provides products and services based on today’s requirements around Unified Networks, Cloud Computing strategies, Virtualization around Software defined Data Ce...
Apr. 17, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,289
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ciqada will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ciqada™ makes it easy to connect your products to the Internet. By integrating key components - hardware, servers, dashboards, and mobile apps - into an easy-to-use, configurable system, your products can quickly and securely join the internet of things. With remote monitoring, control, and alert messaging capability, you will meet your customers' needs of tomorrow - today! Ciqada. Let your products take flight. For more inform...
Apr. 17, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,442
What exactly is a cognitive application? In her session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ashley Hathaway, Product Manager at IBM Watson, will look at the services being offered by the IBM Watson Developer Cloud and what that means for developers and Big Data. She'll explore how IBM Watson and its partnerships will continue to grow and help define what it means to be a cognitive service, as well as take a look at the offerings on Bluemix. She will also check out how Watson and the Alchemy API team up to offer disruptive APIs to developers.
Apr. 17, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,363
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps 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 today!
Apr. 17, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,037
With IoT exploding, massive data will transform businesses with opportunities to monetize almost anything that can be measured. In this C-Level Roundtable Discussion at @ThingsExpo, Brendan O’Brien, Aria Systems Co-founder and Chief Evangelist, will lead an expert panel of consultants, thought leaders and practitioners who will look at these new monetization trends, discuss the implications, and detail lessons learned from their collective experience. Finally, the panel will point the way forward for enterprises who wish to leverage the resulting complex recurring revenue models, adding valu...
Apr. 17, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,345
How is unified communications transforming the way businesses operate? In his session at WebRTC Summit, Arvind Rangarajan, Director of Product Marketing at BroadSoft, will discuss how to extend unified communications experience outside the enterprise through WebRTC. He will also review use cases across different industry verticals. Arvind Rangarajan is Director, Product Marketing at BroadSoft. He has over 19 years of experience in the telecommunications industry in various roles such as Software Development, Product Management and Product Marketing, applied across Wireless, Unified Communic...
Apr. 17, 2015 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,516
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? Join this panel of experts as they peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you’ll have no problem filling in your buzzword bingo cards.
Apr. 16, 2015 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,092
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, will discuss how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust I...
Apr. 13, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,864
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this case) takes into account the number and quality of contextual references that a user receives.
Apr. 12, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,888
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, 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. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
Apr. 11, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,210
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Apr. 11, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 6,004
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic strategies that utility/cloud computing provides. Whether public, private, or in a hybrid form, clo...
Apr. 8, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,977
The WebRTC Summit 2015 New York, to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 16th International Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit.
Apr. 8, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,269
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, will provide some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacenter.
Apr. 7, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,483
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy at GENBAND, will explore what is needed to take a real time communications ...
Apr. 6, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,631