Category Archives: Big Data

5 Early CES 2016 Announcements Placing The Cloud Front And Center

5 Early CES 2016 Announcements Placing The Cloud Front And Center

5 Early CES 2016 Announcements

The annual Consumer Electronics Showcase (CES) kicks off in Las Vegas this morning, and already there are a slew of high profile, cloud-related announcements from a wide variety of companies. From big names like BMW and Samsung to startups trying to break into the public eye, it’s clear that the Internet of Things and cloud-based connectivity is gathering pace and will dominate the technology conversation for many years to come.

We’ve sifted through much of the PR to find a few key cloud innovations that are lighting up the annual Vegas tech fest.

Let’s take a look at some of the key early offerings:

Tech blog ZDNet is reporting on Cisco’s plans for the cloud – “Building off its recent acquisition of cloud video startup 1 Mainstream, Cisco is bolstering its Infinite Video for delivering live and on-demand video content to via local network or over-the-top (OTT) TV services. Cisco’s plan is to blend cloud hardware with open source software to streamline and speed up these operations.”

Smart Autos

Meanwhile Slashgear is impressed by the evolution of the BMW’s very own Internet of Things – “BMW’s Internet of Things grows with the intelligent Open Mobility Cloud, connecting such systems as BMW i3 and Smart Home devices – like your phone or your smart watch. To grow their own Internet of Things, BMW has devices like the Mobility Mirror to act as display medium and mirror at the same time, connecting to the cloud as it does so. BMW Connected is a prototype personalized digital assistant – a bit of software for multiple devices – apps and programs. This system works with the Open Mobility Cloud, allowing the user to connect at home or outside the home, in the user’s vehicle, or on public transport. – SLASHGEAR

Personal Storage

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Personal cloud storage is a fast-growing area of focus for many companies and renowned blog MacRumors.com showcased the Apollo from Promise Technology – “High performance storage solutions company Promise Technology today announced its first foray into the consumer electronics market with the Apollo storage bank. The new device lets users, and a personal circle of private members, store and share data collected in the Apollo with the help of a companion app available to download from the iOS and Google Play App Stores. “Apollo marks a significant milestone for our company, and we are very excited to tap into the consumer market with a personal cloud device that makes it easy to store and share digital media,” said James Lee, CEO of PROMISE Technology. With Apollo, however, PROMISE has delivered a personal cloud storage device that’s affordable, secure, robust and—most importantly—easy to use.

BYOC

The Cloud is seen to be a powerful new weapon in the fight for a healthier planet and popular hardware company Acer is launching some pioneering new software, according to DigiTimes – “IT vendor Acer is showcasing cloud computing-based health monitoring and remote diagnostics solutions through cooperation with hardware and software partners at its BOYC (build your own cloud) exhibition booth at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. The health monitoring solution is for users to continually measure vital signals such as blood pressure and home air quality and upload data to a cloud computing-based management platform through the Acer Open Platform (AOP) for analysis by medical professionals, Acer said. If abnormalities are detected, medical professionals will provide medical advice or notify providers of health care services.”

The Fridge

Finally, consumer electronics giant Samsung wants to be central to the evolving internet of things and is showcasing the Family Hub at CES.

British tech publication IBTimes reports, “The fridge, with an internal camera, can display on its giant screen all the contents, apart from letting the user have a peek into the fridge without opening its doors. Additionally, one can check on the contents remotely on a smartphone, through an app that connects to the fridge’s internal camera. Grocery shopping will no longer involve forgetting items as users can remotely check on what is available and what needs to be stocked up.

These are just five incredible innovations that are kicking off CES 2016 in what is being unofficially dubbed “The Year of the Cloud”. No doubt there is much more to come over the next few days but we can already safely say that, judging from CES 2016, the cloud definitely has a silver lining.

By Jeremy Daniel

The Importance Of Cloud Password Management

The Importance Of Cloud Password Management

Cloud Password Management

A very obvious trend over the past few years has been organizations moving their business applications to the cloud. This trend has been talked about over and over again, including the benefits, drawbacks, implementation hurdles, etc. So what is the next step or advancement in cloud hosted applications?

The next step is ensuring that password management in cloud applications is just as efficient for users as it is for in-house applications. Many solutions are widely available with the use of in house applications in the organization’s network to help with ensuring that password management is secure and efficient, but what about cloud applications? Shouldn’t users of cloud applications receive the same benefits and ease of use as consumers of in-house applications?

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So what are some of the password issues that cloud users are having and is your organization experiencing any of these?

Working Remotely — Cloud applications, though used by all, are most commonly used by remote employees, or employees who are working on the go. According to a recent study, 83 percent of hiring managers say telecommuting will be “more prevalent in the next five years.”

Many organizations have seen the many benefits of this, such as reduced overhead and a greater pool of talent, but there are some issues that come with remote employees. Unlike on-site employees, telecommuters need to quickly access their applications from wherever and whenever possible. Remote employees who are using cloud applications all the time have the same password issues as employees working on site, so they need similar solutions.

Different Devices — If you are a remote employee, you probably aren’t only using a desktop computer or laptop. Using many different smart devices with cloud applications for work creates many password issues. The organization might have a password solution for desktop computers but then what about your tablet or your smart phone? Employees nowadays need access to work applications from several different devices, with password management solutions working seamlessly with all of them.

When the helpdesk has stepped out — So what do employees do when they can’t contact the helpdesk about their password issue? Either they are trying to access their cloud applications after hours or they are traveling and are in a different time zone.

What if you are an employee who is in and out of your car all day? Are you supposed to stop and make a call to the organization’s helpdesk about a password problem? What if you are at a client’s site and need to access the network to complete a sales order and are locked out because of a password issue? Employees cannot rely on a helpdesk since this can lead to them not being able to access the applications they need if it is after working hours for the helpdesk.

The many passwords of an employee — Throughout the average career of an employee at any organization, they often incur many different passwords for the numerous systems and applications that they need to access. The organization often requires the passwords to follow a certain set of guidelines in the hope of ensuring security for the organization. For some reason, leaders often don’t realize that these processes makes it extremely difficult for the employee, and often hinders security. Credentials to cloud applications are no different, though, since many password solutions are only set up to work with in-house applications.

Password Management Solutions In Addition To The Cloud

The most popular fix to these issues is to implement password management solutions. Many of these solutions in the past have been intended for in-house applications, so how can password management solutions help with cloud applications?

ID-Theft-Comic

Solutions, such as a self-service password reset software, have been adapted to be helpful to remote employees or those using cloud applications. This type of solution allows end users to reset their own passwords without having to contact the helpdesk. Employees can reset their passwords at any time, from any location — even from their smart devices.

Single sign-on solutions have also been adapted to work in conjunction with cloud applications. This allows users to login in once with a single set of credentials and thereafter gain access to all other applications they are authorized for, easily resolving the issue of needing to remember multiple passwords.

However, what about remote employees who are not in the company’s network and are using a variety of devices for their work? Newer advancements can assist with their needs also.

employees

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

Cloud SSO Add On — A newer development has been a single sign-on (SSO) solution that can be added as a plug-in to the browser of the employee’s computer. The employee simply enters their credentials one time when they access their computer. Then when the browser detects any work website, the user will automatically be authenticated without having to again enter access credentials. This is extremely beneficial for remote employees who are on the go since they don’t need to enter several sets of credentials each time they are meeting with a client or going to a location.

SSO Application for Mobile Devices — Another recent development has been to aid in the use of different mobile devices. Since remote employees, as well as employees who are traveling, are often using more than a laptop, how do they handle password issues on their phones, tablets or other devices? Several SSO providers now offer the ability for employees to download a secure SSO application on their device. When they access the app it will ask them for a single set of credentials, after which the user will have access to the portal on the application with all of their organization’s applications. They are able to access any of these applications without needing to enter credentials. This is extremely efficient for employees who are on the go.

Overall, as the needs of the organization and cloud applications have changed, password management solutions also have changed to meet these needs. This ensures that employees in the company network or working remotely; as well as with using in-house or cloud applications all receive that same password benefits.

By Dean Wiech

Green Data Discussions At This Week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

Green Data Discussions At This Week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES)

The Node Pole Approaches Cloud Consumer

Swedish data center & cloud computing cluster The Node Pole today announces the assignment of two new top-tier senior officers: Renowned innovation expert Karin Nilsdotter, as well as industrial process developer Josefin Hedberg are now onboard and will be talking green data at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Jan 6th through 9th. The gearing up corresponds with the growing market demand for dynamic and green data capacity delivery, as well as the upsurge in Cloud servitization.

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Securing the advancement of an increasingly end user-driven data cloud is a matter of strengthening both the data capacity delivery end as well the cloud business development end of the market. The Node Pole, the largest data center region in the Nordics and the home of several global market leaders, today announces the onboarding of two new senior officers at opposite ends of this spectrum. CEO Erik Lundström comments:

Digital infrastructure development is driven by the innovation leaders in both data capacity provision and in cloud services provision. The Node Pole is a tailored for all such innovators. In order to capture an increased interest from their respective ends into our cluster, we have managed to secure two ideal officers in Josefin and Karin, respectively”, says Erik.

Space exploration and The Node Pole expedition:

Karin Nilsdotter

One of the new team members is Karin Nilsdotter, renowned pioneer in the commercial space travel industry, Swedish Tech Woman of the Year 2014, Future Astronaut, senior advisor, TEDx speaker, as well as co-founder and CEO of Spaceport Sweden. Karin joins The Node Pole crew today as Chief Future Business Officer – responsible for identifying strategic business opportunities, innovation synergies and new insights throughout global tech markets. Commenting on her additional assignment and the connection between the two industries;

Whether we endeavor into the cloud or into space, this in itself is never the endgame. I believe it’s about the journey and the pioneering spirit, about a climate for innovation, cluster of technology,diverse talent and new business that cultivates around such bold ventures…
“…I am thrilled to be joining the fantastic Node Pole expedition and look forward to partnering with forward leaning companies seeking to capitalize on disruptive technologies, digitalization and an exponentially growing data market”, Karin says on her way to the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world’s largest tech show in Las Vegas, USA.

Also joining the team is Josefin Hedberg, heavy industry development specialist, licensed and certified in both Project Management and Business Analysis, and with a history as CEO of her own Management consultancy firm, as well as Process & Project Manager for several heavy industry projects such as at Volvo Group. In her new role as Chief Operating Officer at The Node Pole, Josefin’s main task is to ensure process and cluster alignment for prospective investors, as well as to realize quality and sustainability synergies within dedicated enterprise cluster The Node Pole Alliance.

I am excited to get to bring my skillsets onboard and to work with the fantastic tool box that is The Node Pole. Few still know just how very dynamic a service offering and the width of potential solutions which can be constructed here. Tailoring solutions with this great team is going to be a fantastic journey”, comments Josefin.

A two-pronged cloud growth: 

A wide array of market forecasters predict the data center & cloud market to double in size over the next few years, with a capacity demand of over roughly 200 new mega data centers to be built throughout Europe. Derived from factors such as service cloudification, IoT and IT-integrated business modeling, today’s path for developing cloud computing services – and clusters – is a function of both physical and digital infrastructure delivery on the one hand, but also intellectual infrastructure and talent attractiveness on the other hand. Correspondingly, this calls for cluster alignment between market actors, academia and communities alike – as well as for top competence within the core team.

About The Node Pole

The Node Pole region encompasses four municipalities in the very north of Sweden, just by the Arctic Circle. The cluster is as of today home to +10 data center (run by Facebook, KnC, Hydro66 and Fortlax among others).The Node Pole also encompasses The Node Pole Alliance: +80 data and data center management companies (Schneider Electrics, Cisco, Flextronics, among others) and has numerous global data service clients – as well as joint market and university cloud computing R&D data center initiative SICS ICE. The region has earned the epithet The Node Pole due to its northern position and emergence as a global hub for data traffic and data management innovations. Sweden enjoys one of the lowest electricity pricings in Europe and one of the world’s premiere digital infrastructures and high tech labor forces. The region is one of the most geologically, politically and socially stable areas in the world. Read more at www.thenodepole.com

Learning From Past Mistakes: Predictions For Cybersecurity In 2016

Learning From Past Mistakes: Predictions For Cybersecurity In 2016

Predictions Cybersecurity 2016

From Ashley Madison to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), hackers did not discriminate between organizations or industries when it came to unleashing cyber-attacks in 2015. This past year, data breaches affected millions of people with headlines of a new hack appearing almost daily. On an individual level, customers’ passwords were compromised, credit card information stolen, and private lives became public to name a few ill-fated scenarios.

comic-dating-game

On the other hand, the organizations that were hacked lost millions of dollars, trust from their customers, and brand credibility. Many will not recover from such serious blows to their reputations. Businesses can only withstand a cybersecurity hack if they invest the time, effort, and money into response, recovery, and the future protection of the organization and its customers.

With lessons learned from 2015 in mind, here are four predictions related to cybersecurity that will make news in 2016:

1. CEO turnover will increase

In 2016, organizations will come to realize that a cybersecurity breach is inevitable and stakeholders will point to the CEO as the responsible party when they occur. No one is immune to cyber threats and the sooner corporate boards and C-suite executives realize this, the better off their organizations will be.

Because cybersecurity is no longer an issue solely reserved for IT departments, the C-suite, particularly CEOs, will be held responsible for data breaches. The sophistication of cyber threats is unprecedented, requiring executives to evaluate the access of data from employees, customers, partners, regulators and vendors. As such, after a breach occurs, many CEOs will either be forced to step down or be fired.

Additionally, executives must be able to demonstrate they have taken all possible precautions to protect their customers’ data. Public expectations of transparency are likely to increase based on the increasing number of breaches. If CEOs cannot provide evidence of their organizations’ efforts, they will be swiftly replaced.

2. CISOs will be scrutinized more than ever

Corporate boards will scrutinize new CISO hires more than they had previously and more than any other C-suite position. A CISO will be expected to mitigate cyber risk, and ensure the organization maintains the philosophy and practice that compliance does not equate to security. Being compliant is important, but organizations must assume that measures must be taken above and beyond compliance and have strategies in place for identifying areas in need of security improvements.

complience-cloud-risks

Performing penetration tests – tests where third parties are paid to infiltrate an organization’s infrastructure in order to uncover holes in security – will be one way CISOs will help arm their organizations against unfriendly hackers. Having a data breach response and recovery plan will be another way CISOs mitigate risks for their businesses and their customers.

3. Cyber insurance will become more popular

As 2015 demonstrated, data breaches are a very real and pervasive threat. Only by taking preemptive measures and proactively preparing a response and recovery strategy will organizations be able to bounce back when one occurs to them.

Part of this proactivity will come in the form of cyber insurance. Even with executives understanding the need for a cybersecurity strategy, it is difficult to calculate all potential costs involved in a breach. Financial considerations must include both direct and indirect costs. An example of direct costs is the financial reparations paid to affected customers after a breach. Indirect costs can include the legal fees incurred while an organization is sued for these reparations.

By purchasing an insurance plan, organizations will be able to minimalize the out-of-pocket costs of a breach.

4. Mobile device management (MDM) will be critical

Organizations will come to understand the threat that connected devices pose to their enterprises. Individuals are using unsecure mobile devices and cloud-based applications without realizing it, which is why MDM and its providers will play a vital role in maintaining organizational security.

Entry into an organization’s infrastructure via a mobile or connected (IoT) device can be relatively simple if the organization is not prepared. For example, if a person’s cell phone or an application on his or her cell phone is hacked and the device is connected to a company’s wireless internet system, a hacker can gain access to the company’s network.

2016 will inevitably be a year with many more data breaches, but hopefully 2015 has taught us that C-suite proactivity and strategy can minimize cyber risk. Learning from the missteps of 2015 will enable organizations to approach cybersecurity with a top-down approach, making it a priority for employees at every level.

 

Larry Jones' HeadshotBy Larry Jones, CEO, Coalfire

Larry Jones is the chairman and CEO of Coalfire and has over 25 years of experience building, operating and growing public and private companies. Under Jones direction, Coalfire is the leader in cybersecurity risk management and compliance services and is the trusted advisor for the leading brands in the healthcare, retail, financial services and technology industries. Jones has a successful track record as a corporate director and chief executive for companies such as StarTek (NYSE:SRT), MessageMedia (NASD: MESG), and Neodata.  Jones, alumnus of Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Boston University, has more than 25 years of experience building, operating and growing public and private equity backed companies.

Wishing You All A Very Happy Holidays

Wishing You All A Very Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

Enjoy a few of our favorite seasonal comics over the years. Feel free to share and happy holidays to all!

dropbox-christmas-cloudtweaks

Big-Data-Santa

cloud-movement-cloudtweaks

christmas-clouds

santashop-cloud-pole

Please feel free to share our comics via social media networks such as Twitter with a clear attribution (Twitter example: via @cloudtweaks) to the original comic source. If you are a company brand looking to utilize our comics to generate leads to a specific landing page, newsletter, presentation or social media campaign, you can contact us regarding commercial licensing rates. Enjoy!

Cloud Email Marketing Services vs. Transactional Email Services

Cloud Email Marketing Services vs. Transactional Email Services

Cloud Based Email Marketing Services

Every business can benefit from successful implementation of email marketing strategies, but the variety of SaaS on the market can be a little overwhelming at times. Whether you’re interested in learning more about email marketing or hoping to clear up any confusion surrounding transactional email, a little research into these services can only improve the ways you digitally interact with your clients.

What You Need to Know About Email Marketing Services

(Image Source: Shutterstock)

We’re already familiar with email marketing—we find those emails in our inboxes on a regular basis. You’re on the receiving end of an email marketing service any time you receive a mass email update from a company you care about, or a promotional message from your favorite store. Businesses employ these services in order to streamline the mass emailing process, reach out to potential clients and keep current clients loyal and informed.

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Depending on your business’ average number of contacts, your chosen marketing service could run you anywhere from $10 to almost $200 a month (but that’s a lot of contacts). Some favorably reviewed examples are Benchmark Email, iContact, and MailChimp.

What You Need to Know About Transactional Email Services

Transactional emails are, to put it simply, triggered messages. When you make a new account with a website or purchase something online, for example, the confirmation email you receive is transactional—it’s sent in response to a user action. Those notification emails you get from Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn (He’s following you! She replied to your message!) are transactional, too.

Using a dedicated service means that you will be able to send a greater number of these emails at higher speeds, which is good news for both growing and established businesses. Pricing obviously varies depending on the amount of clients you serve. Depending on the service, you can pay per thousand emails sent (usually $.10 or more) or purchase a monthly plan that comes with a set number. Additionally, quite a few services offer a set number of free emails. The Cloud based Amazon SES, MailChimp’s Mandrill, and Mailjet are just a few transactional email options to choose from.

When to Use an Email Marketing Service

You should consider an email marketing service if your business is the type to send newsletters, new product announcements, automated (not triggered) marketing campaigns, birthday messages, demographic-specific info, “lifecycle” messages (emails sent at certain points over the course of a client’s relationship with a business, i.e. discount incentives for new users or sign-up anniversary rewards), or general promotional emails.

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Successful businesses measure and analyze the results of their marketing strategies so improvements can be made in future marketing endeavors. An email marketing service can provide analytics and feedback to show you what works and what doesn’t.

When to Use a Transactional Email Service

Transactional email comes into play if your business sends enough one-to-one messages to necessitate a dedicated service. In addition to the earlier examples of account creation, purchase receipts, and social media interaction, this service works well for user password reminders or resets, invoices, newsletter signup verification, initial acknowledgement of a customer service request, and any other kind of customized automated response. Thanks to the service, these messages are sent seconds after the initial trigger action, which is crucial to maintaining client satisfaction.

Choosing What Works for You

Email marketing can do wonders for both creating and maintaining brand loyalty, so experienced and new businesses alike can stand to benefit from a marketing service. According to VerticalResponse,  the top five industries to employ both email marketing and social media strategies are non-profits, real estate, marketing and advertising, Internet, and health and wellness. If your business falls into any of these categories, you’ll definitely want to consider a service—especially if you’re looking to grow your client base.

As for transactional email service, there’s a little more room to choose. Do your clients have accounts on your website? They may need account and password confirmation emails. Are you starting to get more customer service requests than you can immediately handle? An automated response might do the trick until you can get to the overflow. If your business’ volume of automated emails is growing, a preemptive move into transactional email service can save you time in the long run.

If you’re interested in changing the way you send email, make sure to do your research first. Check an online comparison list to see how your potential service stacks up against its competitors. Once you’ve selected a suitable service, gauge how many emails you send in a month. From there, you should be able to choose a plan that fits your business—be it transactional, marketing, or both.

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LeoBy Leo Welder

Leo Welder is the Founder and CEO of ChooseWhat.com, LLC, a website that guides entrepreneurs through the process of starting a business, and Zilker Ventures, LLC, which manages a family of B2B information sites.

Disaster Recovery And Business Continuity In 2016

Disaster Recovery And Business Continuity In 2016

Preparing For Anything

With 1,800,000,000 gigabytes of data created in the last year, the various causes of data loss and downtime such as human error, UPS failure, cyber-attacks, natural disasters, and IT equipment failure take on a great significance. Especially since most of these are entirely preventable. According to stats provided by SingleHop, 93% of businesses experiencing data center failures lasting 10 or more days go bankrupt within one year. 43% of companies that experience a disaster never reopen and only 6% of businesses without a disaster recovery plan survive in the long term.

Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity In 2016

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a less glamorous but compelling benefit of the cloud, encouraging the already high drive towards cloud adoption. However, there are fundamental compliance concerns that are spotlighted too.

[Free Video] Free 15-minute DR Assessment & Analysis >

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Hybrid Infrastructure DRaaS

Cloud-based disaster recovery was initially adopted by large enterprises on one side of the spectrum, and start-ups on the other, both securing data in public clouds. However, business managers sometimes forget that cloud is simply a data vault, and once migrating data to the cloud consider disaster recovery planning to be achieved without actually creating any recovery strategies. DRaaS fills this gap.

Global research firm MarketsandMarkets predicts a compounded annual growth in the DRaaS market of 55.2% from 2013 to 2018, and rather than mere storage solutions, cloud disaster recovery providers help organizations store data, but also recover data to physical hardware, virtual machines, or other cloud environments. Hybrid infrastructure DRaaS solutions allow organizations to store essential data in on-site appliances while managing backups in the cloud, and TheInfoPro (451 Research’s service) found in interviews with IT and storage experts at more than 250 medium and large global organizations that companies are steadily adopting dedicated storage appliances for disaster recovery.

Compliance Concerns

The constantly changing global compliance landscape and regulations make it difficult for businesses to keep up, and it’s concerning that important aspects are sometimes missed or swept aside. Helping deal with this challenge, some organizations are installing dedicated regulatory program managers, but with a shortage of skills, many companies are reporting that senior management is lacking integrated response to regulatory reform. If only half of a business is compliant, it is essentially non-compliant.

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Operational standards such as the EU Data Protection Regulation and ISO standards must be heeded, but data retention time frames also need to be considered. Requirements for retention of various payroll and/or company data varies from country to country, and most countries require adequate data protection measures be in place. DRaaS offers some control with automated backup processes, making electronic records easily accessible, but before utilizing the cloud, service provider security practices should be evaluated, including compliance with BCI standards, encryption of data at rest and in transit, and thorough data center monitoring and employee assessment.

As the growth in data presents new challenges at a range of levels, organizations can take advantage of newer cloud resources such as DRaaS, ensuring they make the most of the data explosion, rather than allowing it to hinder operations.

By Jennifer Klostermann

Smart Cities: What Will The Future Bring?

Smart Cities: What Will The Future Bring?

Evolving Into Smarter Cities

As the digital world empowers us and gives us access to more information than ever before, it comes as no surprise that ‘smart cities’ are quickly becoming a reality, and soon will become more commonplace across the globe. Governments across the world are keen for their cities to become part of a environment that allows cloud-connected devices to collect data about a city’s surroundings and inhabitants.

While this may sound a little intrusive at first, it’s worth remembering that to make a city a success, data has to be collected in some form. Before the birth of the Internet, this may have been done in a number of ways. For example, if something was damaged within the city, then someone would report it and then it would be rectified.

smart-city-infographic

(Infographic Source: Smartresilient.com)

Cutting Out The Middleman

The aim of a smart city is to cut out the middleman, and offer those who reside in the city a more pro-active solution that will allow for the automation of data collecting via a number of different devices to create an infrastructure that looks to benefit the population of the city.

And while there a number of benefits for those who reside in the city, the businesses located within a smart city also look to benefit from the infrastructure. Those who use social networks will have at some point realized that they are faced with online adverts that suit their preferences. A similar practice can be implemented into a smart city, with businesses making offers based on your recent spending habits, and even the way you feel.

Connected Cars

The fact that a city is run by a series of connected devices could even change the way we travel. There’s no mistake that driverless cars are the catalyst for smart cities, and while driverless cars are still to make their debut officially, they will offer a number of benefits both for those being transported, and the environment overall.

Many drivers will have been caught up is some sort of traffic jam, or find themselves waiting in a huge line due to an accident that has occurred on the road. An autonomous car will be able to collect data from a range of different devices, advising the driverless car of the dangers ahead, which would therefore take the passenger to their destination via an alternative route.

This means that traffic managements is a more organized affair, and passengers should find that their ride into work is far cry from the long winded and stressful endeavor they’ve had to endure in the past.

As the driverless cars will be electric, the environment will benefit from cleaner air, which means the smart city itself will be a more desirable place to live. It also means that the urban population will become more efficient, and the over-burdening of public transport will become a thing of the past as shared rides become available.

Energy Monitoring

There also plans to monitor how energy is being used. The real-time stats that can be recorded will allow cities to reduce emissions, as well as saving the city money.

One project has already been launched by NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress within New York City’s Hudson Yards, and data will be monitored in relation to air quality energy production and pedestrian traffic among other things.

A similar initiative has been launched in Chicago. The Array of Things project looks to make Chicago a smart city by placing sensors throughout it. Add to this the similar initiatives launched in South Korea and it’s plain to see that steps are being taken to introduce smart cities globally.

Contingency Plan

cloud-recoveryThere are those who may scoff at the idea of a smart city, for fear that the data being collected is available to cyber criminals. While in theory, this isn’t out of the realms of possibility, the conversion to a smart city will be one where a great deal of research has to be carried out in relation to a robust security solution, as well as a contingency plan should the worst-case scenario scenario.

Many faults can be picked out of a world that conforming to embrace the digital era more than ever, but give the current financial climate of the world, having the ability to view real-time data in relation to a number of a different occurrences within the city allows those in charge to make pro-active decisions in the way we use energy, water and road vehicles.

Evidently, there will be a great deal of change associated with the conversion of cities across the globe, but up to now, may have adopted rapid changes within the technological world with relative ease. As we rely on smart devices every day, it makes sense to use the technology available to shape a better and cleaner future.

By Paul Simpson

CloudTweaks Comics
The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

Consequences Of Combining Off Premise Cloud Storage and Corporate Data

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Off Premise Corporate Data Storage Cloud storage is a broad term. It can encompass anything from on premise solutions, to file storage, disaster recovery and off premise options. To narrow the scope, I’ve dedicated the focus of today’s discussion to the more popular cloud storage services—such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive—which are also known as hosted,…

SaaS And The Cloud Are Still Going Strong

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What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

What Top SaaS Vendors Do To Ensure Successful Onboarding

What Top SaaS Vendors Do I am not going to mention names in this article, but if you want to be the best, you must look at what the best do – and do it better. The importance of investing in SaaS onboarding can be easily overlooked in favor of designing efficient and powerful software…

Infographic Introduction – Benefits of Cloud Computing

Infographic Introduction – Benefits of Cloud Computing

Benefits of Cloud Computing Based on Aberdeen Group’s Computer Intelligence Dataset, there are more than 1.6 billion permutations to choose from when it comes to cloud computing solutions. So what, on the face of it, appears to be pretty simple is actually both complex and dynamic regardless of whether you’re in the market for networking,…

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies – The Future Of The Healthcare Industry

Mobile Connected Technologies Clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities are embracing new mobile technologies in order to be more efficient in their daily tasks. With faster communication and better collaboration, clinicians can spend much less time handling medical devices and more time administering care to their patients. Industry experts are stating that mobile connected technologies…

Protecting Your Web Applications In A Hybrid Cloud Environment

Protecting Your Web Applications In A Hybrid Cloud Environment

Protecting Your Web Applications It’s no secret that organizations are embracing the cloud and all the benefits that it entails. Whether its cost savings, increased flexibility or enhanced productivity – businesses around the world are leveraging the cloud to scale their business and better serve their customers. They are using a variety of cloud solutions…

15 Cloud Data Performance Monitoring Companies

15 Cloud Data Performance Monitoring Companies

Cloud Data Performance Monitoring Companies (Updated: Originally Published Feb 9th, 2015) We have decided to put together a small list of some of our favorite cloud performance monitoring services. In this day and age it is extremely important to stay on top of critical issues as they arise. These services will accompany you in monitoring…

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

What’s Missing in the IoT? While the Internet of Things has become a popular concept among tech crowds, the consumer IoT remains fragmented. Top companies continue to battle to decide who will be the epicenter of the smart home of the future, creating separate ecosystems (like the iOS and Android smartphone market) in their wake.…

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups

10 Trending US Cities For Tech Jobs And Startups Traditionally actors headed for Hollywood while techies made a beeline for Silicon Valley. But times are changing, and with technological job opportunities expanding (Infographic), new hotspots are emerging that offer fantastic opportunities for tech jobs and startup companies in the industry. ZipRecruiter, an online recruitment and job…

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security It’s no secret many organizations rely on popular cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft for access to computing infrastructure. The many perks of cloud services, such as the ability to quickly scale resources without the upfront cost of buying physical servers, have helped build a multibillion-dollar cloud industry that continues to grow each…

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

Digital Twin And The End Of The Dreaded Product Recall

The Digital Twin  How smart factories and connected assets in the emerging Industrial IoT era along with the automation of machine learning and advancement of artificial intelligence can dramatically change the manufacturing process and put an end to the dreaded product recalls in the future. In recent news, Samsung Electronics Co. has initiated a global…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

Box.net, Amazon Cloud Drive The online (or cloud) storage business has always been a really interesting industry. When we started Box in 2005, it was a somewhat untouchable category of technology, perceived to be a commodity service with low margins and little consumer willingness to pay. All three of these factors remain today, but with…

Cloud Services Providers – Learning To Keep The Lights On

Cloud Services Providers – Learning To Keep The Lights On

The True Meaning of Availability What is real availability? In our line of work, cloud service providers approach availability from the inside out. And in many cases, some never make it past their own front door given how challenging it is to keep the lights on at home let alone factors that are out of…

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data The modern enterprise is digital. It relies on accurate and timely data to support the information and process needs of its workforce and its customers. However, data suffers from a likability crisis. It’s as essential to us as oxygen, but because we don’t see it, we take it for granted.…

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

Data Insecurity In The Cloud Today’s escalating attacks, vulnerabilities, breaches, and losses have cut deeply across organizations and captured the attention of, regulators, investors and most importantly customers. In many cases such incidents have completely eroded customer trust in a company, its services and its employees. The challenge of ensuring data security is far more…

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

The Catch 22 The very same year Marc Andreessen famously said that software was eating the world, the Chief Information Officer of the United States was announcing a major Cloud First goal. That was 2011. Five years later, as both the private and public sectors continue to adopt cloud-based software services, we’re interested in this…