Cloud computing—delivering infrastructure, services, and software on demand via the network—offers attractive advantages to the public sector. For example, it has the potential to reduce information and communications technology (ICT) costs by virtualizing capital assets like disk storage and processing cycles into a readily available, affordable operating expense.
One of the most significant cloud computing opportunities for the public sector is the ability to share ICT resources among multiple agencies. While governments have tried hard to create frameworks geared toward shared services, these have not always been successful. Cloud computing offers an easier and less burdensome route to more efficient and effective public sector information management.
Of course, cloud computing is not without its challenges:
A service provider residing outside of a government’s legal or territorial jurisdiction may put access or security at risk.
Open standards and interoperability may not be guaranteed, leading to the risk of vendor lock-in.
Data privacy is a concern when using public clouds. This can be addressed by the development of private clouds.
Business continuity will continue to be a concern. Cloud computing, however, may also mitigate this risk, as cloud vendors are likely to use more robust and better-maintained computing platforms that provide more redundancy and are less likely to fail.
The evolution of the cloud is big news within mature tech markets in North America, Europe and Asia. But, what will cloud services mean for developing countries? More than you might think.
At its core, the cloud promises lower costs for information and communications technology (ICT) and ubiquitous access to information and applications. These benefits look attractive to any business, but for companies in developing economies — companies less likely to have the capital for large, modern ICT infrastructures — the cloud could provide an enormous benefit.
I participated in a panel about Girls in ICT at ITU World Telecom on October 27 2011 chaired by Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau and learned this:
Job opportunities in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) continue to grow, and many countries and regions are predicting a shortage of qualified staff with math, science, engineering and computing skills to meet the growing demand. At the same time, many companies are looking to increase the number of women in the sector. This means that highly qualified women in technical fields have significant opportunities available to them. Unfortunately teenage girls and young women often never even consider a career in ICTs. There is a lack of awareness among students, teachers and parents on the opportunities presented by a career in ICT.
Former US FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate was present in the audience at this session and called out a program that she and actress Geena Davis are engaged in regarding Gender and Media. Greena Davis was featured in the film Miss Representation, which explores how the media’s misrepresentation of women has led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence.
This makes it that much more important to make sure girls and young women are aware of the resources available to help them prepare for and enter the ICT sector. Check out The Girls in ICT portal, which provides listings for scholarships, internship and training opportunities, tech camps, Girls in ICT Day events, online networks and so much more! Check it out and spread the word!
So now you must be wondering where is Cisco in this space?
In May 2011 Cisco France set up a connected girls day that included members from the industry and conducted workshops on technology and its applicability to society. Take a look at the following video to experience the event:
On September 25, 2008, Cisco hosted its first worldwide Connected Women event, demonstrating collaboration in business. Live events ran in 9 cities across the world with more than 400 senior female customers and partners coming together for a series of stimulating and practical presentations centred on collaboration, sustainability and the importance of technology. The opportunity to ‘Inspire and be inspired’ was a theme throughout with contributions from high -- level external business speakers at the different events around the world.
Cisco will be running the next Connected Women event in April 2012. By running this event we intend to both inspire our guests and for them to in turn provide inspiration through the sharing of their personal successes and innovative practices. The April event, like previous sessions, will be a real testament to what we can all achieve through greater collaboration.
Over 6,500 top-level participants onsite including Heads of State and Government, Ministers, city mayors, industry CEOs and technology gurus, along with hundreds of thousands of participants from around the world interacting in real-time via webcasts and twitter streams
332 global leaders participating in the Broadband Leadership Summit
34 of the world’s major ICT names participating in the event as key partners
251 influential speakers from 64 countries took part in the multi-streamed conference agenda
237 companies from 41 countries on the show floors
10,000 students from schools across the globe, who shared their work with 150,000 of their classmates across five continents.
Session was chaired by Brahima Sanou Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau
*There were more attendees at this session than at the Internet of Things Session including:
Former US FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate called out the program that she and actress Geena Davis are engaged in regarding Gender and Media:
Please keep an eye out for the next blog on the Girls in ICT Portal ITU will go live 11.11.2011. Susan Schoor ITU BDT Regulatory and Market Environment Division, extended a warm thanks to the panelists.
The next ITU Telecom World event will be held in Dubai, UAE, in Q4 of 2012.
Thirty thousand feet above Iraq, an hour out from Qatar and the Persian Gulf – a good place to look back on this week’s third annual WISE, the World Innovation Summit for Education. It is, bar none, the biggest education conversation on earth. It has the power to convene: the world’s leading educators implored the world’s governments to honor the 2015 Millennium Education goals. In my opinion, although WISE has done significant work in the past few years there is still a lot to be done to create a coherent, systematic approach to education transformation. Qatar and the Region as a whole need that desperately. Arab leaders know they have to create 75M jobs - to sustain growth and meet the aspirations of countless young people. That means building a generation of problem-solvers and entrepreneurs. The precondition is better education.
WISE is pinning its hopes on new and innovative forms of learning – finding them, promoting them and scaling them. Charlie Leadbeater’s brilliant book on learning innovation was unveiled here this week. The Haiti learning initiative, built around inspirational new approaches to education, was launched with the WISE imprimatur. And innovative projects – from Afghan photography to smart-funded academies in America -- were hailed as game changers.