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Today’s businesses run in the virtual world. From virtual machines to chatbots to Bitcoin, physical has become last century’s modus operandi.  Dealing with this type of change in business even has its own buzzword – Digital Transformation.  From an information technology operations point of view, this has been manifested by organizations increasingly placing applications, virtual servers, storage platforms, networks, managed services and other assets in multiple cloud environments. Managing these virtual assets can be much more challenging than it was with traditional physical assets in your data center.  Cost management and control are also vastly different than the physical asset equivalent.  Challenges abound around tracking and evaluating cloud investments, managing their costs and increasing their efficiency.  Managers need to track cloud spending and usage, c... (more)

ATMs Are IT Too | @CloudExpo #ITaaS #Cloud #FinTech

That world of homogenous IT technology managed entirely by the internal IT organization has long disappeared. Operations today require efficient and global management of technologically heterogeneous environments. The challenges and mistakes organizations make when tackling this important task include: Operational disconnects caused by ineffective internal communications; Resource contention when multiple, independently developed project plans compete; Incompatible technical documentation; and Inconsistent communications with vendors. A case in point is the finance industry which has endured some rather unique pains in this area, especially when it comes to ATM Fleet Management. According to Diebold Nixdorf, a world leader in connected commerce, this problem has been caused by three major trends that have changed the nature of ATM network management. The first, an... (more)

American Airlines Adopts Public Cloud Computing | @CloudExpo #AI #Cloud #Analytics

Did you know that the reservations systems of the biggest carriers mostly run on a specialized IBM operating system known as Transaction Processing Facility (TPF). Designed by IBM in the 1960s it was designed to process a large numbers of transactions quickly. Although IBM is still updating the code, the last major rewrite was about ten years ago. With all the major technologies changes since then, it's clear that IBM has already accomplished a herculean task by keeping an application viable for over 50 years. Just like Americas aging physical infrastructure, the airlines are suffering from years of minimal investment in their information technology. This critical failure has been highlighted by a number of newsworthy incidents including: Delta, April 4, 2017 - Following storms that affected its Atlanta hub, Delta's crew-scheduling systems failed, causing days of op... (more)

Cloudy Thinking and Digital Transformation | @CloudExpo #DX #Cloud #Analytics

(Originally posted on the Engility Corporation Blog) There's a lot to gain from cloud computing, but success requires a thoughtful and enterprise focused approach. Cloud computing decouples data and information from the infrastructure on which it lies. A process that is a LOT more involved than dragging some folders from your desktop to a shared drive. Cloud computing as a mission transformation activity, not a technological one. As an organization moves from local information hosting to the cloud, one of the most important challenges is addressing cloud computing as a mission transformation activity, not a technological one. Cloud computing isn't a new technology. It's a new way of consuming and provisioning information technology services. Adopting cloud computing means paralleling your mission processes, rethinking the economic models and abstracting your applicati... (more)

Blockchain Business Innovation | @CloudExpo #Cloud #FinTech #Blockchain

Is there more than bitcoin to blockchain? Absolutely, because today's blockchain is opening up a pathtowards the delivery of trusted online services. To understand this statement, you need to see blockchain as more that it's more famous bitcoin use case. As a fundamental digital tool, blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger for recording the history of transactions. If used in this fashion, it can enable transactional applications that can have embedded trust, accountability and transparency attributes. Instead of having a Bitcoin blockchain that is reliant on the exchange of cryptocurrencies with anonymous users on a public network, a Business blockchain can provide a permissioned network with known and verified identities. With this kind of transactional visibility, all activities within that network are observable and auditable by every network user. This end-to... (more)

Digital Transformation Driven by ITaaS | @CloudExpo #Cloud #ITaaS #DigitalTransformation

When executing an effective digital transformation strategy, management is tasked with placing the right workload into the most appropriate IT environment. This represents a shift from buying parts for self-assembly to composing services through self-serve consumption and pay-per-use models.  Quite often this transition also leads to the adoption of software defined environments across the enterprise infrastructure. Software defined infrastructures do, however, bring with them some very unique challenges. Many of the most prevalent issues are centered around the relatively immature state of the technology itself. The most significant aspect of this challenge is the lack of industry standards for device control. Control software must know the status of all network devices and trunks, no matter what vendor equipment is being used. While OpenFlow stands today as the d... (more)

Both Sides of Enterprise Mobility | @CloudExpo #Cloud #Mobile #DigitalTransformation

Enterprise mobility has become table stakes in the world of business. The ability to access current information at any time, from anywhere, on any device has really become a cliché. The familiarity we all have with smartphones and wireless access, actually obscures the true difficulty of developing and executing an effective corporate mobile strategy.  This reality is driven by the fact that companies must actually have two mobile strategies. The first face of mobility is an inside strategy focused on supporting employees and business partners. From this viewpoint, mobility becomes the central point of access and the management tool for corporate information and intelligence. The organizational goal here is to introduce context to business processes in order to offer viable options and drive better decisions. An additional benefit of this capability is to create fr... (more)

NATO ACT 'Art of the Possible' Interoperability Demonstration

NATO ACT 'Art of the Possible' Interoperability Demonstration GovCloud Network is proud to have served as the Program Manager for the NATO Allied Command Transformation, "Art of the Possible" Interoperability Demonstration on December 16, 2016. supporting the The Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium (NCOIC), this effort featured an important demonstration for military, government and business leaders by its member-companies to underscore the benefits of collaborating via an interoperable network environment. The demonstration used a secure, federated-cloud infrastructure to highlight the consortium's work over the past few years in how to develop a trusted environment, including governance processes and federation management as well as interoperability verification. This demonstration itself is an outgrowth of  the NCOIC Interoperability Verification (IV)... (more)

My Abducted Two-Year-Old American Guest Worker Daughter in Syria

Since her abduction by her mother last summer, my two-year-old US citizen daughter, who is in ailing health, remains in her abducted country of Syria under the immigration status of "Palestinian Immigrant Worker." Fox News: ▸ video ▸ story Sofia needs to appear every three months before Syrian immigration authorities to renew her "guest worker" visa, stamped in her American passport. Syria, one of the most oppressed regimes in the world together with North Korea and Iran, does not offer many human rights, freedom or democracy, nor does it recognize the International Hague Convention for Child Abduction. Not being a Syrian citizen Sofia has no civil rights. For the past seven months she did not receive any medical care for her GDD - Global Development Delay condition with autism. Since she is an out-of-status American child, she is also not able to enroll in any acc... (more)

Cloud Computing Forensics Readiness | @CloudExpo #API #Cloud #Security

In today's globally connected world, data security breaches are bound to occur. This, in turn, increases the importance of digital forensic readiness, or the ability to access and trust computer log data in the identification of a breach and the determination of what datasets may have been compromised. As organizations rapidly move into the cloud, the complexities of this multi-jurisdictional and multi-tenancy environment has made the importance of cloud forensics even more pronounced. This reality has also drastically heightened the legal risk associated with information technology operations. Cloud and digital forensics readiness are therefore critical to business disaster recovery, continuity of business services and cloud ecosystem management. The benefits of digital forensic readiness include: Reducing the cost of cyber investigations; Quick determination of re... (more)

Business Chatbots Taking Over | @CloudExpo #AI #ML #IoT #M2M #Cloud

Chat apps characteristics make them very appealing to businesses and marketers. Prominent ones include their size, user retention, usage rates, and user demographics. In fact, the combined user base of the top four chat apps is larger than that of the top four social networks. Chat apps also have higher retention and usage rates than most mobile apps. Finally, the majority of their users are young, an extremely important demographic for brands, advertisers and publishers. These chat app traits have accelerated the blending of artificial intelligence and business service functions to create the modern chatbot. Recent advances in this area include: A chatbot's ability to conduct engaging human conversations which has allowed businesses to leverage the inexpensive and wide-reaching technology to engage with more consumers; The greater suitability of chatbots with mobil... (more)