Anticipation of the upcoming summer Olympic Games has already lifted my spirits. This week I received an invitation from Andrew Millar, the British Consul General in Houston, Texas – it’s an opportunity to attend a viewing party for the opening ceremony later this month. I’m really looking forward to that event.
You may recall that in my last story, the ICT Infrastructure Investment, I shared some of the interesting high-level details about economic outcomes and seven of the the key principles that were used to develop the overall ICT solution.
Watching the Graham Norton chat show on BBC on Saturday night I was delighted to hear that Black Eyed Peas star Will.i.am has donated half a million pounds to the Prince’s Trust to use music to inspire children to be excited about Science Technology Engineering and Maths at school.
This summer the world will be watching London. At the same time, the city will have to deal with millions of extra people and the logistical challenges that go with it. Obviously, one of the most important of these challenges is security. We’ve all seen the furore in the papers about the government spending more on security than they initially planned – up from £282 million to over £550 million. . I don’t know about you, but I’d rather we spend the money than be underprepared during the Olympics and Paralympics…when all eyes are on London.
So, what does £550 million buy you these days? 23,700 security personnel to cover 100 venues, for a start. However, there are also virtual threats to consider. During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China suffered 14 million online attacks. It’s no surprise; the information infrastructure is critical to the Games running smoothly. That’s why, as the networking infrastructure supporter of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we’ve been working closely with BT and Atos as the Communications Services Partner and the Global IT Partner respectively to provide robust and secure network infrastructure. But it’s not just those involved in the Games that need to think about security. Businesses are vulnerable while the Games are on too. And it’s a time when they should be capitalising on increased demand and opportunity. Unfortunately 42% of businesses have not reviewed their security arrangements for the Games and will be vulnerable to serious threats throughout the Games period. A key part of this is ensuring their networks are set up to cope with increased demand and potential threats.
Having worked on Cisco’s London 2012 programme for more than two years, it seems strange that the Games themselves will last just four and a half weeks in total – which seems far too short for all the effort going in from everybody !
Thankfully, we see the Legacy component of this partnership lasting for many years to come, and our “Building A Brilliant Future” programme has been designed to build a lasting legacy based on learning, skills, innovation and entrepreneurship that will hopefully create jobs and drive business growth particularly in SME’s.
On Monday morning, I was at Claremont High School, in Harrow, London, watching as one of the architects responsible for building the Olympic stadium kept a class of 13 year olds enthralled about the design and engineering challenges involved.
Jo Smith from the firm Buro Happold was taking a lesson from Cisco’s Out of the Blocks StemNet programme bringing real world examples of how lessons about chemical structure; mathematics and physics were all very much challenges the stadium designers and builders has to overcome when designing the stadium and other venues for this summer’s Olympics.