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Virtual desktops, virtual workspaces, voice, video, … virtual reality

Today, there is lots of buzz around the big news from Cisco and our ecosystem partners with the launch of next generation VXI validated solutions.   If you missed our launch event, you can still get all the details online via our community.

Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) delivers desktop virtualization with secure access to data, voice, and video for fixed and mobile devices.    

Pretty cool but, why is virtualization important for government agencies? 

  1. cost control, more than ever government agencies are focused on strategies to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs
  2. flexibilty, allow government workers ability to work in different workplaces, from city hall to public works, with choices of different combinations of virtual desktops, voice, and video devices including latest smartphones, tablets, and Cisco Virtualization Experience Clients (VXC)
  3. security, better security and control of information in the data center rather than distributed endpoints and with the ”bring your own device” (BYOD) to work phenomenon, security is more critical than ever
  4. uncompromised, helping government agencies achieve mission objectives without compromising cost or resilience mandates

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Can technology help government support community services and reduce costs?

Last week I had the opportunity to host two groups of visitors:  a group of community policing leaders from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and a delegation of foreign exchange students from Iwata, Japan.  I enjoyed meeting all the guests and the conversations we had about the many changes and challenges in our communities.

We discussed the impact of increased diversity and convergence of cultural values, critical budget issues facing government agencies, and the continuing need for citizen services for community safety and emergency response.  We brainstormed ideas for how technology can help.

Despite the severe economic and environmental challenges, both groups were optimistic about our future and the potential for technology to play a positive role.

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Top 3 Government Challenges with Cloud

As Cloud Computing gains more attention from government customers, it presents new challenges and demands a different set of skills to become successful. Having a clear understanding of the business’ challenges and the benefits that may be obtained from the cloud becomes even more important.

In my conversations with different government organizations about Cloud Computing, three distinct challenges keep coming up.

Cloud Computing Government

#1: Reducing Costs. More than ever, agencies have the pressure to reduce costs at all levels.  Dealing with shrinking budgets and demands for newer services has forced agencies to carefully look for areas that may be optimized or simplified.  While many agencies struggle to keep the lights on, they are forced to look at alternate ways to provide services. Cloud services has become an attractive way to address those demands and provide new services to its citizens.

The pressure to reduce costs has also forced agencies with common needs to work together and find ways to collaborate and simplify operations.  This is different from the past, where agencies could not justify or were not interested in combining computing resources with other agencies.

#2: Agility and Scalability. At the same time they are forced to reduce costs, agencies are also forced to achieve new levels of agility and innovation.  The constant demand for new services and deployment of new technologies have forced agencies to consider services in the cloud in order to simplify and reduce their infrastructure footprint.  While agencies may be solely focused on reducing costs, cloud applications can not only reduce the costs, but also give agencies a new level of agility and scalability.

The cloud allows agencies to pool resources to serve multiple customers using a multi-tenant model.  These shared resources give agencies a sense of independence and elasticity, since resources may be dynamically assigned according to demand.

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