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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series: The Truth About The Cloud…It’s Not Magic

When I stepped outside this morning, new clouds were forming by the second.

By the time I reached my car, they had transformed a static blue sky into a pulsing network of dynamic gray structures. It was so fast it seemed like a magic trick.

Transforming existing government IT services into cloud services is absolutely not magic.

It’s a process, a series of phased steps. It’s a journey that requires smarter security, integration with legacy systems and processes, and substantial expertise and experience.

Feeling the pressure

Cloud computing is shifting from an option to must-have. If you’re an IT professional working in local, state/province, or national government, the pressure you’re feeling to move to the cloud is palpable, and growing by the week.

You face increasing pressure to reduce costs—and concurrently expand services, data sharing, and information access. Simultaneously, rising security challenges demand that you use new approaches for securing data and compliance.

There’s also mounting pressure to deploy applications more quickly and consistently, and downsize your data centers and environmental footprint.

A cloud model can relieve all these pressures. Cloud computing presents you with a huge opportunity—for your organization and your career—to transform the way that people access and use data, and the way that you store and secure it.

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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series: Enabling Big Data Analytics Through Government Cloud

Governments around the world understand the importance of a national ICT infrastructure and the role it can play in the economic and social development of a country.

However, there is a significant industry trend called Big Data that, I believe, presents a major opportunity for governments to deliver more targeted services to citizens and businesses.

Three key aspects of Big Data are already impacting governments around the world:

  1. Volume: Each interaction with a government entity creates digital records, network traffic, and storage requirements. The compound annual growth rates of global consumer and business data are expected to climb by 36 percent and 22 percent, respectively, between 2010 and 2015.
  2. Velocity: Data is being collected at greater and greater speeds. One example of the new velocity of data is the U.K. government’s transition to real-time tax reporting, where employers submit earnings and taxation information on a monthly rather than annual basis.
  3. Variety: In addition to traditional documents and forms, governments now must deal with torrents of less-structured data such as video from public safety and security systems, along with social media feedback. The multiple channels through which people now interact with government have also created a challenge.

It is not the data itself that creates innovative opportunities for governments, but the potential for analytics and insight around this vast array of information across many formats. Big Data could enable governments to shorten the daily commute for citizens by developing predictive analytics on traffic flows and actual traffic data affecting traffic signaling in real time. Or perhaps governments could help with rapid identification and control of disease outbreaks—from flu, to infectious diseases, to food contaminants.

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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series: State/Local Government & the Internet of Everything

There’s an increasing drumbeat of news about the “Internet of Everything” (IoE)— the confluence of people, process, data, and things that makes networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before.

IoE comprises the ubiquitous ways that billions of people and numerous devices on the Internet communicate and report on their status and location. This covers everything from the location of your smartphone, to where a package might be, to the rate of your pulse or your arrival on a street corner, to the condition of a highway.

The Internet of Everything isn’t way off in the future. Today, the number of physical devices connected to the Internet is already six times the number of people on the Internet, even though there are 2 billion of those people. By 2020, there will be 50 billion connected devices.

These devices will come to dominate the “cloud.” Of course, the complexity of a global system that connects all these devices and people is mind-boggling. This global system has the potential for unpredictable and perhaps disastrous behavior. That alone should get the attention of public leaders.

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CyberPatriot Program Showcases Future of Cybersecurity Workforce

DSC_0942_2March 14 – 15 marked the National Finals Competition of CyberPatriot, the largest high school cyber defense competition in the United States.

With students crowded around laptops, routers and clocks counting down, teams were given a business scenario. Told that they were newly hired IT professionals managing the network of a small company, they were given 12 virtual machines that they had to wipe of the most vulnerabilities in the shortest amount of time.

Taking place just outside of Washington, D.C., as the teams raced to defend their networks from attack, the event resembled a scene out of the show 24. And if it showed us anything, it’s that our future cybersecurity workforce is bright. Read More »

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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series: Connecting “The Last Frontier”…

March 21, 2013 at 8:18 am PST

While Alaska is the largest state, it’s the least densely populated. With local government agencies and departments dispersed across more than 600,000 square miles, creating a reliable and efficient statewide IT infrastructure is no easy feat.

When Corey Kos became the state of Alaska’s enterprise architect in 2010, he set out on a mission to create an infrastructure that would deliver IT services via private cloud, reducing overall expenses and allowing Alaska’s government employees to work efficiently. Three years later Kos has exceeded his objectives and successfully connected ‘The Last Frontier.’ Read More »

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