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Savings offer United States government cloud incentive

While most of the people within the know have long ago recognised cloud computing to be the long term of data technology, there is a spread of barriers and obstacles that need to be negotiated before it becomes as prominent a neighbourhood of people’s lives as a technology we deem granted, like the web. Two immediately come to mind.

Firstly, there's the natural conservatism that we human beings seem to possess as a default function. the typical punter within the street won't check in to cloud computing until it becomes a daily a part of everyday conversation, and businesses will stick steadfastly to their existing set-ups until very explicit benefits of cloud computing are demonstrably indicated. in fact, there'll always be some enthusiasts, visionaries and early adopters who see the worth of the cloud long before the overall consensus jumps on board, but the history of technology tells us that the method of the bulk aged board with a replacement innovation is often a laborious one.

Businesses will stick steadfastly to their existing set-ups until very explicit benefits of cloud computing are demonstrably indicated.

Secondly, there's that perennial issue which makes the planet go round – economics. rock bottom line is that no-one will check in to cloud computing, particularly among business and enormous private sector organisations, until it's in their financial interest to try to do so. Many businesses and government entities have naturally made a huge investment in existing technology, and that they aren't getting to give that up until they’re 100% certain that it's genuinely obsolete, or a minimum of until they see some very strong benefits from doing so.

However, a recently published study suggests that cloud computing ‘logjam’ could be close to being eased somewhat. The study in question suggests that adoption of cloud offerings — particularly as a platform for service middleware and application development tools — can make a big contribution to saving the United States government money. it's indicated by the study that clouds computing could potentially cut U.S. government application development costs by the maximum amount as $20.5 billion once a year.

The survey in question was administered with 153 federal IT executives by MeriTalk, a public-private partnership for advancing government information technology structure. The study was underwritten by Red Hat, Inc., thus underlining its credibility, and calculates that Platform as a Service (PaaS) could cut federal IT costs by approximately one-third.

The US federal is actually a really large producer of computer software, so as to work its various departments. quite three-quarters of the respondents to the survey stated that developing new applications is completely essential to the day-to-day running of their departments.

The report was so critical of the prevailing IT arrangements in US federal departments that it described them as “fundamentally broken”, with the study citing evidence from the overall Accounting Office which indicates that the govt spends 70% – $56 billion – of its IT budget on look after legacy systems, which move at a “glacial pace”. Naturally, this translates into higher costs for state departments, which the software application development cycle taking a mean of three and a half years. In further damning information from the study, 41% of the federal IT managers who responded stated that their agencies’ software and applications got to either upgraded or completely replaced.

As well as painting a damning picture of the IT systems currently operational within the United States government, this study also provides extremely significant news for the longer term of cloud computing, demonstrating quite clearly that the cloud offers huge savings to big organisations; precisely the kind of incentive which is required to catalyse the cloud revolution.

While those within the know rightly recognise that saving money is but a mere a part of the entire palette of opportunities which is provided by the embryonic technology, the economics usually dictates the uptake of any viable medium. for instance, it's often asserted that Betamax video was superior to the VHS format which ultimately won the videocassette war, but eventually lost bent its competitor. Similarly, the Spectrum computer cleaned up within the European market despite more sophisticated offerings elsewhere, simply thanks to its price point.

The fact that we are now starting to see tangible evidence of the economic benefits of the cloud will only speed up its widespread adoption.

Both businesses and personal sector organisations alike want to ascertain a bottom-line delivery from any major investment or any significant change to their operating procedures. the very fact that we are now starting to see tangible evidence of the economic benefits of the cloud will only speed up its widespread adoption.


By Frank Jennings, the Cloud Lawyer at DMH Stallard LLP

Our understanding of state surveillance changed in June 2013 when The Guardian published the primary revelations of the NSA’s PRISM and GCHQ’s Tempora snooping programmes.

My post that very same month Help! NSA has my data – sought to introduce calm against a background of in-depth blanket surveillance which has generally been greeted with alarm. 7 months maybe a while within the world of cloud, so what can we know now?

Data privacy has continued to be a hot topic with some questioning whether we should always have a European-only cloud or whether we should abandon cloud altogether.

Data privacy has continued to be a hot topic with some questioning whether we should always have a European-only cloud or whether we should abandon cloud altogether. The extent of the snooping has taken many all of sudden. The Guardian et al. have disclosed the surveillance intimately and while it’s not necessary to repeat them, here are some high (low?) lights:

the US and UK snooped on foreign leaders at the 2009 G20 summit

there are accusations that Skype voluntarily joined the PRISM programme and RSA introduced back doors to their products to facilitate surveillance. These accusations are denied

NSA collected address books from Yahoo, Hotmail, Facebook and Gmail seemingly without their knowledge or cooperation

NSA cracked mobile encryption and was imagined to be taking note of the phone calls of Angela Merkel, the German

Chancellor with the Israeli prime minister and therefore the EU Competition Commissioner also targeted

The reaction in many quarters has been furious. Again, some highlights for me:

the Russian government bought electric typewriters and this was reported as a result of them discovering that they were being spied on

the European parliament’s civil liberties committee says the activities of NSA and GCHQ appear to be illegal and have asked Snowden to undergo questioning

the American Civil Liberties Union is pursuing a lawsuit against the NSA alleging that its spying activities are unconstitutional and

Kentucky senator Rand Paul is additionally close to bringing a claim and is urging Americans to hitch the lawsuit

two Californian state senators introduced a bill in an effort to chop off NSA’s water system, essential for computer-cooling

the European justice and rights commissioner Viviane Reding threatened to freeze the EU/US shark repellent scheme

President Obama announced some reforms to the NSA

Here are my answers to questions which I’ve been asked since June last year:

1. Will the EU Data Protection Regulation stop NSA and GCHQ snooping on me?

No. The draft regulation is an effort to harmonise the various approach to data protection laws across the EU. it's been heavily criticised and has undergone a plethora of amendments and there still remains much disagreement that has got to be resolved before the regulation are often implemented. Regardless, article 2 of the present draft contains an exemption for national security and it's highly likely that some sort of exemption is going to be retained within the final draft.

2. Should we abandon the shark repellent scheme?

scrapping shark repellent and preventing the flow of EU personal data to the US would punish those companies for the actions of the NSA.

No. The EU/US shark repellent scheme was an effort to guard EU citizen’s data within the face of a scarcity of a US federal law providing similar protections. Don’t forget that the majority US companies have denied actively participating within the PRISM programme so scrapping shark repellent and preventing the flow of EU personal data to the US would punish those companies for the actions of the NSA. There’s little question that hitting the profits folks companies would get the eye of the United States government but at an equivalent time, it could severely impair the expansion of cloud within the EU as such a lot of it's based within the US.

3. Should I abandon the cloud?

No. the primary road fatalities within the US and UK were within the 1890s but this didn’t cause the banning of the car. 1.24m people worldwide died of road traffic injuries in 2010 alone and yet we still use cars. like any new development, there'll always be negatives. The key's to determine proper guidelines and restrictions for surveillance by security agencies instead of abandoning the cloud completely.

4. Should security agency powers be curtailed?

this shouldn't distract the typical cloud provider and customer from aged with their business.

Maybe. the talk continues. In his recent announcement of proposed reforms to the NSA, President Obama said that NSA had been acting within its powers but he recognised that Snowden’s revelations had caused anxiety. The reforms aren't as extensive as many were posing for and wish further clarification. for instance, the NSA will still have access to phone data but won’t hold this itself; a 3rd party yet to be identified will hold it instead and NSA will access it when needed. Also, foreign citizens – including other world leaders – will enjoy equivalent protections as US citizens but will still be the topic of surveillance if necessary to uphold national security. In short, the NSA will still undertake surveillance but with some adjustments. this is often clearly an ongoing discussion but the NSA, GCHQ and other security agencies will all still undertake surveillance to some extent. within the meantime, this could not distract the typical cloud provider and customer from aged with their business.

5. Should the EU adopt its own cloud?

Yes, if you mean an EU cloud to market a thriving European-based cloud to assist businesses to compete with the US-based cloud and let’s hope that’s what the ECU Cloud Partnership and Cloud for Europe achieve. information technology schools, However, if you mean a state-sponsored scheme to create an EU cloud to lock data within the EU and exclude US companies then no, for the subsequent reasons:

I’m always wary of protectionist policies, particularly given Europe’s history

It must not act as Fortress Europe as this is able to be contrary to the attempts at creating a worldwide economy through international bodies like the planet Trade Organisation

Despite the rhetoric, bureaucrats and national governments are normally not the simplest samples of the way to implement successful technology projects

It would also not overcome the truth of state surveillance. GCHQ’s own surveillance programme, Tempora, is well-known following Snowden’s revelations. There have also been disclosures that Germany’s Federal intelligence has contributed to

NSA’s data collection and France’s Directorate-General for External Security has been intercepting and storing handset and Internet communications. And don’t forget that, under the varied mutual legal assistance treaties which national governments have signed, security agencies share information between them, including with the NSA.

IBM drives social business within the cloud

IBM builds on growing client and partner momentum for social business within the cloud.

IBM has announced strong momentum for its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) based social business offerings from partners, clients and developers. As a part of today’s news, IBM is additionally highlighting its continued investment with new innovations in its social business and cloud technologies.

According to a recent IBM study of quite 800 business decision-makers worldwide, organisations that use the software delivered as a service through the cloud (SaaS) reported two and a half times higher profit than their peers. additionally, organisations that adopt cloud-based solutions are 79 per cent more likely to drive increased collaboration across their organization, and twice as likely to leverage analytics to unlock greater insight about their business.

A growing list of companies like Codorniu, Princess Cruise Lines, SIKA, SafeGuard, Shanks and Verisure have taken their business into the cloud, extending the advantages to many users around the globe.

We’ve seen amazing demand over the past year as clients adopt and partners extend the capabilities we’ve been delivering through the cloud,” said Jeff Schick, vice chairman of Social Software, IBM. “Over this era, we've spurred new innovation by integrating social capabilities into an organization’s business processes. This has been made possible through the open and extensible APIs that have allowed us to unleash the facility of cloud and help organisations collaborate and increase workforce productivity.”

Connections within the Cloud and Next Generation WebMail Experience

IBM today announced the rebranding of its mail, chat, meetings, office productivity and content capabilities, making them a part of IBM’s Connections brand in 2014. As a part of this effort, IBM plans to expand the Connections portfolio to incorporate high-fidelity, high definition video supported its Sametime 9 technology.

In addition, IBM is additionally announcing its next-generation webmail experience. within the age of data overload, workers must be ready to quickly access and effectively manage the knowledge most significant to their job, much of which resides in their inbox. This new mail offering, planned for availability in both the cloud and on-premises, will use analytics to deliver powerful task-level focus and inbox management capabilities that permit employees easily track the content and messages needed to try to their job.

IBM’s new webmail experience is extremely intuitive and integrated with key social business capabilities. this may help our people be more efficient in prioritising and managing daily work, including tracking requests and follow-ups during a powerful yet simple experience,” said Berry van der Schans, Information and Communication Technology Manager for Shanks Group Plc.

IBM also plans to introduce Domino Applications within the cloud through a ready-made Platform as a Service offering built on IBM SoftLayer.information technology degree As a result, customers are going to be ready to repose on the investments they need made in custom applications and enhance them with new mobile options. Partners also will have a faster path for bringing their new Domino applications to the cloud and getting them to plug more quickly.

Growing Ecosystem Drives Demand for a replacement Social Business Software

IBM is teaming with business partner Parallels to integrate with their innovative cloud automation platform, making it easier for partners that distribute IBM products to assemble and sell unique cloud offerings. for instance, a telecommunications company can use IBM’s new plug-in to simply combine and provision its cloud offerings from IBM and other Parallels-ready vendors, like Sugar CRM. This streamlines the business process of delivering cloud services through a reseller channel.

IBM is additionally introducing a replacement certified set of worldwide partners that provide on-boarding services that make it easier than ever for clients to deploy their mail to the cloud.

Furthermore, IBM’s independent software provider (ISV) partner ecosystem continues to grow. To date, many unique Connections-based applications are developed using APIs from the IBM Social Business Toolkit. for instance, ISVs, like AppFusions, Flow, HootSuite and Kaltura and Shoutlet have built entirely new applications on the IBM Connections platform — both within the cloud and on-premises.

HootSuite, for instance, created a replacement social application integrating IBM Connections capabilities and content into the HootSuite dashboard. this enables data from corporate social networks to be viewed alongside social media data from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other networks so employees are often even more empowered, connected, and informed.

The Social Software Leader

In 2013 IBM has named the amount one provider of enterprise social software for the fourth consecutive year by IDC1.. additionally, Forrester Research recognized IBM as a pacesetter in file sync and share platforms consistent with the July 2013 report, The Forrester Wave™: File Sync And Share Platforms, Q3 2013*. Today 75 per cent of the Fortune 100 have IBM enterprise social software.

6. Why don’t the legislators act quicker to assist cloud?

It’s important for legislators to strike a balance between regulating innovation to guard consumers without rushing laws and stifling the innovation.

Innovation happens faster than lawmaking. it's always been so. Typically, until specific laws are passed to manage innovation, judges will apply any relevant existing laws, meaning there could also be over-regulation instead of under regulation within the short term. It’s important for legislators to strike a balance between regulating innovation to guard consumers without rushing laws and stifling the innovation. This supposed lack of relevant law hasn’t stopped US cloud developing. Nor are customers without adequate protection. Consumers are already well protected. technology credit union Arguably it’s SMEs who need laws to assist redress the balance and within the meantime, they have to buy around. and skim the contract terms before signing up – but a cloud lawyer would say that!

7. So, how do I prevent security agencies snooping on me?

Avoid cloud altogether and buy electric typewriters to stay everything on paper on-premise. That sounds a touch extreme.

Address the matter at source, perhaps by curtailing surveillance powers or through better scrutiny? Obama’s announcement doesn’t give me much comfort that much will truly change.

Run certain activities within the cloud, but keep sensitive data out of the cloud.

Encrypt (or tokenise) sensitive data before transmitting and storing it within the cloud

Of course, these aren’t foolproof. The NSA has apparently been using tiny radio devices to urge access to offline computers. It can already crack some encryption algorithms. The NSA reforms won’t prevent snooping but a minimum of, for now, their activities are going to be more closely scrutinised. Also, if all data is encrypted – not just at rest in data centres but in transit too – this may likely cause the NSA and other national security agencies to focus their resources on those targets who they genuinely believe are a threat to national security instead of the blanket approach they need up to now, as they can’t efficiently decrypt all data (yet).

8) Should I just stop panicking and keep it up with my business?

Yes.