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Network-Centric Warfare: How IoE is Transforming Defense

The power of the Internet of Everything (IoE) lies in connecting the unconnected, bringing together people, process, data and things to create new and exciting possibilities. These connections are already transforming the world today, from corporate business to local government. One area in particular that has been significantly transformed by connectivity over the years is our nation’s defense.

Throughout the past 30 years, Cisco has been working closely with the Department of Defense to transform its operations from a point-to-point world to one that is fully connected. We are proud to have played a role in building the first defense-wide enterprise network, known today as the DoD Information Network (DoDIN). These networks were rapidly extended into the deployed environment, and Cisco was there helping to make that transition. Today, DoD networks are being pushed out even further into the tactical edge connecting sensors, platforms and mobile users. This network capability is critical to supporting all branches of the U.S. military, serving as the connective tissue that transitions enterprise to deployed to tactical edge establishing the Defense Department’s global IoE environment.

Modern battlespace boundaries are consistently harder to define, but IoE technologies such as sensors and collaboration capabilities operating on a secure mission fabric are enabling shared situational awareness, accelerating rapid indications and warnings, and improving real-time collaboration. For example, every element of today’s Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations – from unnamed vehicles and autonomous sensors to a solider in the field with a handheld decision aid or intelligence analysts in the operations centers – requires a secure, reliable network to connect a vast defense landscape.

In the garrison, the emergence of connected base environments illustrates how IoE is impacting daily military operations. IoE-driven solutions such as energy-monitoring, smart street lighting and advanced asset tracking can help bases around the world operate more effectively, provide information for better decision-making and improve cost efficiencies. The medical and logistics environments, for example, are replete with sensors that can monitor, control, optimize and automate their unique mission operations. From bases to tactical edge, the DoD will continue to adapt and refine its “Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs)” necessary to improve mission effectiveness across every branch of the U.S. military.

So what’s next?

As today’s battlespace boundaries continue to evolve, the need for agility, resilience and adaptability is more critical than ever. Similarly, the strategies and technologies required to achieve success will change and Cisco will be there to support the defense community with solutions for service members around the world. We are committed to helping the DoD build and maintain the secure mission fabric necessary for efficient and effective operations.

For more information, check out this new white paper highlighting on how IoE technologies and Cisco are supporting the Department of Defense. Also, keep an eye for future blogs that will take a closer look at connected bases and how the Navy is leveraging the power of enhanced connectivity.

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Security Is a Top Priority for Feds and Should Be Moving Forward

It’s no secret that security is top priority for the federal government. It seems like every week we are hearing about a new threat, hack, or breach that has hit an agency. In just the past few weeks, we’ve heard about significant breaches that have resulted in both citizen and federal employee information being compromised.

Obviously, these kinds of attacks are putting agencies on alert. This is especially important as organizations continue to embrace new technologies and polices to improve operations and efficiency. As technology investments bring great new capabilities to government, it’s imperative that IT managers design security in from the very beginning.

I recently discussed this topic in an article published in Federal Times. The article explored how the Internet of Things (IoT) and Internet of Everything (IoE) need cybersecurity protection. In addition to a projected $4.6 trillion in value for global public sector by 2022, the enhanced connectivity offered by IoE technologies also creates an increased need for network security. For example, while BYOD programs are tremendously valuable, these initiatives also create a larger surface area for potential attacks by adding devices to the networks.

With billions of devices expected become connected over the next five years, it’s important that agencies have a plan in place to address their security needs. In general, agencies should focus their efforts on creating a cybersecurity strategy that is visibility-driven, threat-focused and platform-based. As more individuals and devices need network access, having real-time visibility becomes even more critical to gaining insight on surrounding threats and identifying system vulnerabilities. Also, presuming the network has already been breached it can help agencies be more proactive their approach. And lastly, a platform-based approach will provide scalability and flexibility required to address a variety of threats and reduce complexity through centralized management.

The number of ways IoE can make our lives better and our organizations more efficient depends mainly on our ability to think of new ways to use the technology. If we can be confident in the security of IoE, we can be confident developing more applications for it. All organizations should be in a position to ask, “Now that I am confident with my protection, what new things can I develop to save money or time and delight my users?”

Take a look at the Federal Times article for more insights around IoE and cybersecurity, and check out this white paper to learn more about IoE’s impact on public sector.

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Feds Relationship with the Cloud: It’s Complicated

Cloud computing is not a new concept for federal IT managers. The idea of transitioning to the cloud has been discussed, evaluated, loved and scrutinized for several years. There has and continues to be tremendous excitement about the benefits cloud computing can offer federal agencies, including increased flexibility, scalability and cost-efficiency. However, concerns still remain for agencies considering cloud adoption, primarily being security and lack of data control.

Earlier this year, MeriTalk released its “Cloud Without the Commitment” report following a survey of 150 Federal IT managers from agencies that have implemented cloud. The report, underwritten by Cisco and Red Hat, found that federal agencies still have a desire to embrace cloud, but security concerns and other challenges remain. For instance, 75 percent of respondents said they want to shift more services to the cloud, but they are concerned over retaining control of their data. As a result, agencies are still hesitant to go “all-in” when it comes to cloud. This sentiment is reflected by an unwillingness to commit long-term. More than half of those surveyed said concerns over being locked into a contract hold their agency back from cloud adoption.

This week I’ll be participating in a webinar discussion with GSA’s Mark Day, deputy assistant commissioner, Office of Integrated Technology Services, and Red Hat’s David Egts, chief technologist for Public Sector. We’ll be discussing the survey findings and what it means for the future of the federal government’s relationship with the cloud.

Click here to register and join us at 1:30 p.m. ET on Thursday (5/14) for the free discussion. Download the full survey report and come with questions. Hope to talk with you then!

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IoE and Convergence: The Path toward Greater Efficiency and Improved Citizen Services

As technology continues to evolve rapidly, citizens and end-user government employees are reaping the benefits. Government is responding to the growing demand for increased e-services and faster access to data by aligning resources to more adequately support a fully connected world, or as we like to call it the Internet of Everything (IoE).

The Difference between IoE and Convergence

IoE is the networked connection of people, processes, data and things. This extends beyond machine-to-machine communication (often referenced as the Internet of Things) to embrace complete connectivity. By connecting the unconnected, government agencies have the potential to reduce costs, improve operations, enhance employee productivity and improve citizen safety and services. However, to unlock all the benefits of IoE, the first step is convergence.

Convergence is what we refer to as the union of Big Data, Cloud Computing and Mobility. As these pervasive technology megatrends come together—there is a synergy that is created. This allows for a more streamlined, efficient technology environment that bridges the gap between government operations and citizen services.

Convergence and the Public Sector

The idea of benefiting from IoE is often talked about as something far in the future, but in truth, it is already happening today. IoE is making a significant impact across government as organizations begin using converged resources to shape their IT infrastructure.

For example, Hardik Bhatt, Chief Information Officer for the State of Illinois, spoke recently with FutureStructure about how smarter infrastructure is helping to improve the lives of city residents. With smart street lighting systems, cities can save money by eliminating waste, help citizens feel safer and allow local businesses can tap into the connected infrastructure to build apps using the available data and network.

Federal agencies are also tapping into the power of IoE and orchestrating their cloud, big data and mobile environments. Orchestrating the converged ecosystem, the DoD is connecting the battlefield in ways that are fundamentally changing today’s military operations. Enhanced sensor communications are helping the Department of Defense (DoD) improve monitoring, both on and off the battlefield, with systems that communicate across intelligent networks to increase both visibility to threats as well as improving operational efficiency through better decision making ability. Sensor based systems and video have revolutionized remote healthcare services. In addition, General Services Administration Smart Buildings offer improved management and energy efficiency capabilities. Pressure readings and valve adjustments can be done from a network operations center instead of in person and occupancy sensors can be used to provide optimum lighting during daytime while saving energy.

Build Your Convergence Roadmap Today

Convergence is the key to unlocking the true value of the IoE. Governments with converged technology infrastructure environments will enjoy greater agility and efficiency through aligned resources. Those seeking to achieve maximum value from IoE should develop a convergence roadmap that addresses improvements in the underlying cloud, big data, and mobility services that power IoE. This plan should include an assessment of your current technology assets and capabilities, define what you want to achieve with each technology architecture, identify the workflows and process that will be impacted and build an IT strategy that embraces automation and an application-centric approach to ensure the applications and devices in your environment work together.

To learn more about this new age of convergence and how your public sector organization can benefit from the $4.6 trillion opportunity that IoE presents over the next decade, go to Additionally, check out some top predictions for the IoE era.


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Congratulations FCW Federal 100 Award Winners

Earlier this month, FCW announced the 2015 winners of its prestigious Federal 100 Awards. In its 26th year, the Fed 100 program has evolved to become one of the most recognizable achievements in the federal IT market. These awards honor individuals from government, industry and academia who have had a significant impact on how federal agencies leverage technology systems and services. Winners are selected for their progressive efforts and demonstrating innovative thinking in the federal IT community. In short, these are the individuals directly influencing how technology is being used to transform agencies’ operations and help them achieve mission success.

Here at Cisco, we are fortunate to have had fantastic customers and employees recognized for their contributions over the years. This year, I’m very pleased to congratulate Cisco’s own Larry Payne, Area Vice President for U.S. Federal Sales, as well as Dr. Himanshu Singh, Associate Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System (VAAAHS) for their selections as Fed100 Award recipients. Read More »

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