Category Archives: Cloud Computing

Ouissam Youssef: The Value of a Vertical Market Orientation

Ouissam Youssef: The Value of a Vertical Market Orientation

Vertical Market Orientation

Sponsored series by the Valsef Group

Vertical markets supply products and services to a specific industry (i.e. banking, real estate, insurance) with precise user specifications, and thus vertical market software offers developments for niche applications which are already customized to serve their target market. Typically the competition in these markets is smaller as only a few organizations with the requisite skills will spend the time and effort developing such intricate constructions; this serves as both opportunity and risk since a worthy product will find a loyal customer base, but if not adequately serviced these same customers could mean complete ruin.

Targeted Solutions

Technology offers us a host of horizontal market services and platforms from email solutions to marketing platform to bookkeeping software. They’re necessary for every business venture and with their global market it’s unsurprising that such products exist in the multitudes. Many of these horizontal market services are becoming highly customizable and are in some cases even tailored to the clients who use them but many specialists still maintain that the solutions possible with vertical market software surpass any one-size-fits-all product. Says Ouissam Youssef, founder and CEO of Valsef Capital, “What makes vertical market software so interesting to us is that generally big companies, and thus big R&D dollars, tend to shy away from vertical markets because they’re too small to warrant the investment. This creates a situation where a company can operate profitably without the constant influx of ‘irrational money’ attacking it. It is not uncommon to run across VMS companies that have average client tenures over ten to fifteen years.”

Entering a Vertical Market


The targeted solutions of vertical market software can be lucrative investments but only with the necessary groundwork and infrastructure. A substantial amount of sales and marketing investment is required, along with the core skills able to create a valuable product. Without a high level of experience and expertise in an industry, it’s unlikely a product will thrive in a vertical market, just as without the sales teams that understand both the technology and its role such software is unlikely to find a foothold.

There are, however, a few key practices which can assist. For starters, it’s necessary to have a grasp of the existing industry exposure. Certain industry segments are already highly diluted with vertical market software while others have too often been looked over. Concentrating on a segment with greater demand than supply is just good business sense. However, finding a market with high demand is not enough. The long-term prospects of any vertical need to be understood for an investment that’s going to grow. Finding such a market with both demand and longevity is a veritable recipe for success. Once the relevant niche has been targeted it’s crucial to provide the essential resources and commitment to a product. Operational excellence and networking shape customer loyalty and make it that much more difficult for future competitors to enter the same market.

Wise Investments

Valsef Group, a technology investment group with the aim to grow both capital investment and the companies they back, invests in vertical market software companies via Valsoft Corp. Investing in stable businesses and fostering an entrepreneurial environment post-acquisition, the group cultivates such investments into industry leaders with an eye to long-term partnerships and lasting reward. Says Youssef, “We at Valsoft invest with a 40 year time horizon; we feel that differentiates us in this day and age. We look for companies that will withstand the test of time. We find there tends to be quite a few of those in the VMS business and that’s why we’re in it; there are many businesses worth taking care of.”

By Jennifer Klostermann

Infographic: Report Finds Public Wi-Fi Usage Trumps Security Concerns

Infographic: Report Finds Public Wi-Fi Usage Trumps Security Concerns

Xirrus Report

As cyber threats, like ransomware, get more sophisticated, the number of victims and methods of attacks will only increase,” said Morgan Wright, cyber security expert and senior fellow at The Center for Digital Government. “Businesses not only have a corporate responsibility to educate their users of the risks associated with connecting to public Wi-Fi, but also to give them the necessary tools to avoid attacks.”

The study reveals the growing disparity between the increased use of public Wi-Fi and the lack of precaution taken against security threats when connecting.

Key findings include:

  • 48 percent of Wi-Fi users connect to public Wi-Fi at least three times per week; 31 percent connect to public Wi-Fi every day.
  • 91 percent of Wi-Fi users do not believe public Wi-Fi is secure, yet 89 percent use it anyway.
  • When on public Wi-Fi, 83 percent of Wi-Fi users access their email, whether it’s for work or personal reasons, and 43 percent access work/job specific information.
  • Nearly half (46 percent) of Wi-Fi users say their company has not offered cyber security training in the past year.
  • Nearly 30 percent of respondents are not aware of ransomware as a threat, despite it being identified as one of the most pervasive cyber threats.


(Infographic Source: Xirrus via Marketwired)

Useful SaaS Tools For Marketers

Useful SaaS Tools For Marketers

SaaS Tools For Marketers

Growth hacking really isn’t much more than a modern form of marketing, but with the renewal of the designation comes a few other significant changes. For starters, growth hackers are more often found in startups with small budgets and big ideas. Since startups are typically high-risk organizations with the potential for prodigious growth, growth hacking tools (extensive list) are often viewed as performing tremendously effectively, particularly when contrasted with the low costs involved. Of course, the flip side is that ineffective tools aren’t given a second thought, are simply disregarded, and tend not to affect the positive opinion of the growth hacking arena. Fortunately, the confidence in these new age marketing tools has encouraged a better breed of amenities which are developing the marketing framework of every organization bold enough to advance. Here’s a look at some of the top tools for a few principal marketing fields.


Generating Leads & Growing Your Customer Base


Increase customer engagement and interaction through this experimentation platform. By keeping track of the changing behaviors of your customers, it’s possible to increase revenue, better engage customers through captivating experiences, and charm loyal users. Optimizely makes it possible to accomplish a host of site optimizations in just a few minutes and offers a free trial to get you started.

Bounce Exchange

Using Exit Intent technology, Bounce Exchange helps you grab visitors as they leave with invitations that help “turn abandoning visitors into valuable customer.


For real customer information that connects data to real users, KISSmetrics lets you track and analyze customer behavior for a higher visitor to customer conversion rate. Easy to set up and with a free trial to get you hooked.

Increasing Traffic & Participation

Helping businesses find opportunities on social networks and in search engines, offers a free trial to assess their value before agreeing to one of their paid plans. This smart tool helps organizations seek out conversations about their brand, products, services or competitors, and through participation in Google-crawled places boosts SEO and brand positioning.


A free tool for product promotion, Twilighter encourages the sharing of content for increased visitors to your site. Site visitors can easily highlight content and immediately share via Twitter without any hassle. And let’s be realistic, in today’s world of automated apps and low attention spans, you’ve got to keep it effortless. As a bonus, Twilighter highlights the most popular content on your site for new visitors.

Automate Your Marketing


All-in-one automated sales and marketing software that helps organizations stay in touch and follow up automatically via social marketing and email. Infusionsoft promises increased leads, greater conversion rates, and better management of sales processes.

Email Marketing


A free plugin that makes the acquisition of email subscribers quick and easy, ListBuilder works on both desktop and mobile, integrates with services like MailChimp, and provides ‘smart popup mode’ prompts for discreet email collection.


A popular email marketing tool that lets you send targeted emails based on site activity, provides optimal send time recommendations based on past performance, and segments your mailing list. With e-commerce integration and a host of features that help businesses thrive, MailChimp is definitely worth a look.

Research & Feedback


Putting analytics to use, Qualaroo makes it easy to survey site visitors for qualitative information that gives a better picture of who your customers are and what they want. Available for both desktop or mobile visitors.


Connect with site visitors through the Olark chat application. You’ll know who’s on your site, where they’re located, and what they have and are looking at on your website so as to connect with them in the most meaningful way. Integration with major CRMs and handy customization features round off this choice tool nicely.

Just the very tip of the modern marketing tools iceberg; if you can imagine it, someone’s probably developed the tool you need… and many others you haven’t yet conceived.

By Jennifer Klostermann

The Next Wave of Cloud Computing: Artificial Intelligence?

The Next Wave of Cloud Computing: Artificial Intelligence?

Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence

Over the past few years, cloud computing has been evolving at a rapid rate. It is becoming the norm in today’s software solutions. Forrester believes that that cloud computing will be a $191 billion market by 2020. According to the 2016 State of Cloud Survey conducted by RightScale, 96% of its respondents are using the cloud, with more enterprise workloads shifting towards public and private clouds. Adoption in both hybrid cloud and DevOps have gone up as well.


The AI-Cloud Landscape

So where could the cloud computing market be headed next? Could the next wave of cloud computing involve artificial intelligence? It certainly appears that way. In a market that is primarily dominated by four major companies – Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM – AI could possibly disrupt the current dynamic.

In the past few years, there has been a surge of investment in AI capabilities in cloud platforms. The big four (Google, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM) are making huge strides in the AI world. Microsoft is currently offering more than twenty cognitive services such as language comprehension and analyzing images. Last year, Amazon’s cloud division added an AI service which lets people add analytical and predictive capabilities to their applications.

The current AI-cloud landscape can essentially be categorized into two groups: AI cloud services and cloud machine learning platforms.

AI Cloud Services

Example of AI cloud services involve technologies such as Microsoft Cognitive Services, Google Cloud Vision, and IBM Watson. In this type of model, organizations incorporate AI capabilities in applications without having to invest in expensive AI infrastructures.

Cloud Machine Learning Platforms

On the flip slide, there are cloud machine learning platforms. Machine learning is a method of data analysis which automates analytical model building. It enables for computers to find patterns automatically as well as areas of importance. Azure Machine Learning and AWS Machine Learning are examples of cloud machine learning platforms.

IBM and Google Making Waves


Recently IBM and Google having been making news in the AI realm and it reflects a shift within the tech industry towards deep learning. Just last month, IBM unveiled Project DataWorks, which is supposedly an industry first. It is a cloud-based data and analytics platform which can integrate different types of data and enable AI-powered decision making. The platform provides an environment for collaboration between business users and data professionals. Using technologies like Pixiedust and Brunel, users can create data visualizations with very minimal coding, allowing everyone in the business to gain insights at first look.

Earlier this month at an event in San Francisco, Google unveiled a family of cloud computing services which would allow any developer or business to use machine learning technologies that fuel some of Google’s most powerful services. This move is an attempt by Google to get a bigger foothold in the cloud computing market.

AI-First Cloud

According to Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google, computing is evolving from a mobile-first to an AI-first world. So what would a next-generation AI-first cloud like? Simply put, it would be one built around AI capabilities. In the upcoming years, we could possibly see AI being key in improving cloud services such as computing and storage. The next wave of cloud computing platforms could also see integrations between AI and the existing catalog of cloud services, such as Paas or SaaS.

It remains to be seen whether AI can disrupt the current cloud computing market, but it will definitely influence and inspire a new wave of cloud computing platforms.

By Joya Scarlata

Where Are Your Users Learning About The Birds And The Bees Of Cloud?

Where Are Your Users Learning About The Birds And The Bees Of Cloud?

Clouding Around

Where did you learn about the birds and bees – from your adolescent peers? How did that work out for accuracy? Today it’s from peers and the Internet. The same is true for your users and the cloud with the same sometimes disastrous consequences. You’re the CIO, shouldn’t they be learning cloud from you? Stop lamenting like Rodney Dangerfield how IT gets no respect. Step up and reach out.

Cloud use is spreading rapidly but most of your users have a vague or misguided concept of what cloud really is and its promises and pitfalls. Want proof? Often quoted are Gartner’s Top Ten Cloud Myths. But that is just scratching the service. A little digging reveals lots of misconceptions about SaaS, like here and here. Even your peers on the management committee hold foggy notions of how it works but are reluctant to admit it. Instead, they echo some of the buzzwords, quote an article they read in the WSJ, etc. Let’s face it. Your firm is already pregnant with cloud. Why not take a page from what your peers do and get ahead of the curve.

Your head of HR works hard at building and executing an education program for the company’s staff. It’s designed to encompass the many different facets of management and leadership to facilitate employees’ progress. It also points out all the policies and laws that need compliance. Attendance and regular testing is mandatory and for good reason. To grow, your firm needs knowledgeable leadership and a strong culture. To stay out of trouble, employees need to understand the firm’s and society’s norms and boundaries.


Your CFO does the same. Folks are regularly exposed and held accountable to the business metrics and methodologies used to manage and steer the enterprise. The how and why you do what you do is critical for staff to understand, if the firm is going to reach its goals. Likewise, there are a lot of regulations where compliance is essential. They range from those covering all businesses, like SOX or FCPA, to those that are industry specific, like HIPAA or Dodd-Frank.

It’s a good bet that your operations, marketing, and other functions in the company do the same: provide development and tools for success while also pointing out the guard-rails between which actions can be taken in accord with company culture and society norms.

What are you doing for IT leadership? Let’s guess. Odds are you focus on the guardrails. You teach them good passwords, how to avoid phishing emails, perform safe browsing, use corporate data on their mobile devices, etc. All worthy topics but that’s not the half of it. As the fundamentals of your business become increasingly digital they are spending buckets of money on cloud computing. Who is teaching them about cloud? Who is helping the company’s staff make good decisions and avoid bear traps in cloud?

Safe bet it is not you. SaaS vendors go right around you directly to them. Their peers and buddies during meetings and conferences buzz about the latest cloud-based tool – and it’s even free to try! You turn around and surprise, everyone is on and they are asking you to link it to your old Oracle order management system.

Why not get ahead of the curve and emulate your peers. Teach your users about cloud. Give them the basics, dispel the myths and paint relevant case studies to your industry and environment. Give them the big picture, too. Cloud is pretty prominent in the press these days: all the way from how everyone can use it to how it is transforming whole industries.

NetSuite is bought by Oracle. elects to use AWS. Workday announces they will use IBM’s cloud for development. Is any of this relevant for your enterprise? Why not write a short note to all users or a post on your internal social media giving your point of view? Are you too busy to write something? Send a link to an article of blog post you particularly liked.

Make yourself the “go to” guy when different parts of the company contemplate using cloud. Do it for the company and do it for you. The CIO and IT’s role are changing and you need to negotiate a difficult path. Some even predict the CIO position will disappear. Nothing is certain but wouldn’t it be better if your users viewed you as a valuable and essential member of the team?

(Originally published Oct 13th, 2016. You can periodically read John’s syndicated articles here on CloudTweaks. Contact us for more information on these programs)

By John Pientka

Effective Security Management In A Software Defined World

Effective Security Management In A Software Defined World

Effective Security Management

Software defined infrastructure (SDx) along with use of private and public cloud technology is completely changing the way IT departments manage enterprise data centers and application workloads. Automation is a key component of software defined networking (SDN), bringing network, server, storage, security management and other IT functional teams together to transform the data center from a hardware-focused to an application-focused environment.

In the past when organizations deployed new applications, the application owner needed to collaborate with several disparate teams. For example: one team was responsible for installing the required server hardware and operating systems, another team was responsible for connecting the new servers to the network, and yet another team was responsible for provisioning the security and firewall rules.


It was as if the stars, planets and moons (or in this case all the functional teams) had to align in order for all of the necessary components to be provisioned. Then, and only then, could the application owners’ start using the new infrastructure. The result of all these tasks was it would take weeks or even months before the infrastructure was ready and the new application could start to be rolled out.

Today, private and public cloud infrastructures allow IT to automate these manually intensive operations; virtual machines are dynamically created and deployed, operating systems are quickly and easily provisioned, and connecting new services to the network is streamlined and automatic. As a result, pre-configured templates of commonly used and well defined services are available to the application owner. With a single click on a self-service portal, applications can now be quickly provisioned across multiple data centers, within or among private and public clouds.

In this software defined world where new apps are instantly created or moved to a different location as the infrastructure gets provisioned, changed and elastically scaled based on demand, security officers are challenged to enforce security policies and retain full visibility of security incidents. In fact, security often lags far behind the application developer’s ability to provision new infrastructure since traditional security controls remain fixed at protecting the network perimeter and don’t easily extend into the highly dynamic and automated software defined infrastructure. As such, security remains a key challenge for organizations looking to get full visibility and control of their threat landscape and plug any vulnerabilities in their cloud-based environments.

It turns out the keys to getting control back are creating dynamic security policies, API scoping and security management consolidation.

Creating Dynamic Security Policies

Dynamic security policies in modern networks are achieved by close integration with network virtualization and public IaaS solutions like VMware NSX, Cisco ACI, OpenStack, AWS or Microsoft Azure. By tightly integrating with these solutions, objects defined by those systems such as groups and tags can be learned and utilized in network security policies. This allows for the creation of dynamic security policies where changes in the software-defined environment are immediately translated and instantly reflected into an effective and active security policy that is applied to all traffic automatically – without human intervention.


Exposed or published APIs in popular SDN or cloud services controllers provides the logical integration point for creating dynamic security policies. Data defined by the controller – such security groups, VM or host names, tags, and more – can be exchanged with network security tools to create meaningful context for both security personnel and network administrators. Now, instead of arbitrary or meaningless IP addresses, the security in a software-defined network can leverage meaningful information about the network to ensure the right policies always follow application data and workloads – wherever they go.

Additionally, leveraging and populating this contextual information in log files gives security admins the ability to better understand and investigate any security incident. Security solutions for cloud-based networks must be able to integrate with leading cloud and network virtualization tools to not only provide advanced threat protection for both east-west and north-south traffic but also make use of dynamic cloud and other SDN objects in the security policy and logs for effective security management.

API scoping

In order to completely automate the deployment of new applications, organizations need to grant developer’s access to APIs that in many cases involve modification of security policies. It is vital to ensure this access is scoped or limited appropriately; otherwise, a mistake by a developer could potentially alter the security policy of the entire organization making it vulnerable to threats.

Scoping access to APIs example:

The printer admin use an app to add printers to the network. In doing so, this involves modifying firewall rules using an API. The security policy must ensure that the printer application can only add new printers – nothing else – and is only permitted within relevant network segments.

Incorporating sub policies in the security management solution is the best way to allow scoping API access down to a rule level, thus eliminating the possibility of inadvertently modifying the security posture and exposing the entire organization to new threats. This also ensures delegation of administrative duties down to specific use cases to streamline security management while maintaining oversight of all activities.

Security Management Consolidation

Consolidation of management functions is necessary to gain complete and holistic visibility of security policies and incidents across the entire organization’s infrastructure. Without management consolidation incidents are difficult to identify, correlate and analyze across the various cloud networks, making it operationally impossible to secure these environments.

The new software-defined infrastructure is complex, constantly changing and being driven by functional teams who don’t always understand the security implications that come from defining new infrastructure. In addition, organizations still have physical or legacy networks to maintain. It is now more difficult than ever to get a handle on not only where data center traffic goes – north-south, east-west, virtual and physical, private and public cloud – but how exposed an organization’s infrastructure is to vulnerabilities and threats.

Cloud-based security solutions must be able to provide customers with a unified solution that consolidates policy management, visibility and reporting across private and public clouds – all from a single pane of glass. It should be intuitive and scalable enough to handle security deployments wherever customer data goes while providing detailed analysis and correlation of security events across the entire enterprise network.

By Yoav Shay Daniely

Cashless Society Part 1: Closer Than We Think?

Cashless Society Part 1: Closer Than We Think?

The Cashless Society

A truly cashless society was long the realm of dystopian nightmares (or utopian dreams depending on how you look at it), however, we are suddenly heading down that particular rabbit hole much fast than many could have anticipated. A cashless society has many pros and cons, such as eliminating black markets or allowing easier (and more overbearing) regulation of government monetary policy. But how close are we really to this level of digitalisation of the economy? The Federal Reserve estimated that there will be $616.9 billion in cashless transactions in 2016, up from around $60 billion in 2010. So the question is no longer if, rather when.

Sweden issued Europe’s first banknotes in 1661, and now they are leading the world’s dash to a cashless economy. According to central bank the Riksbank, cash transactions made up just 2% of the sum total of all payments made in Sweden last year (with some predicting that figure will drop to 0.5% by 2020). Swedish buses no longer take cash, you can’t purchase a ticket for the Stockholm Metro with cash and retailers are now legally entitled to refuse cash (which would explain that only 20% of retail transactions were made with cash). Even street vendors and churches increasingly prefer card payments, and perhaps, most incredibly, only 700 out of 1600 bank branches hold or accept cash; circulation of Swedish Krona has fallen over 26 billion since 2009. Regardless of where you are or what you want to purchase, you are likely to find a sign which reads “Vi hanterar ej kontanter” (“We don’t accept cash“).


Sweden may be considered by many to be leading the charge, and perhaps legislatively they are ahead of the game, however, there are other countries taking leaps and bounds towards a cashless society (without even realising). Australia is pushing towards a cashless society at a relentless rate, with each citizen now spending an average of $1824 every month on plastic; that’s $3.08 for every $1 in cash gets withdrawn. However, Australia is only at the tipping point, with 35% of all transactions conducted without cash, there are countries far further down the rabbit hole. Singapore lead the way in the cashless world, with 61% of all transactions; The Netherlands aren’t far behind on 60% and Sweden and France both on 59%. Yet, only Sweden has introduced legislation to increase the spread of the cashless craze, so the consumer is the key catalyst in many countries shift away from physical money.

Governments in many nations have, in fact, pushed for a cashless society. A paper trail for all transactions could a huge aid in reducing crime, money laundering and tax evasion. France’s finance minister has recently stated that he plans to “fight against the use of cash and anonymity in the French economy” in order to help fight terrorism and other threats. Similarly, former Secretary of the Treasury and economist Larry Summers has repeatedly called for scrapping the U.S. $100 bill (which is the most widely used currency note in the world). A cashless society provides the opportunity to pursue fiscal policy that would be foolish whilst cash savings still remain, negative interest rates are much more viable in this situation. From the perspective of the banks, a cash-free society gives them the opportunity to avoid complex cash handling and eliminate bank robberies, theft, and dirty money.

money to burn

Niklas Arvidsson, professor at the Royal Institute of Technology and author of the popular study “The Cashless Society“, has predicted that “By 2030 we will be completely cash-free“. A fully digital economy would allow banks to track the lifestyle and spending habits of customers, arguably more than any other institution in history. Arvidsson warns in his book of the danger of access to such personal data, there is no precedent yet establishing what banks would do with this information, but there is likely to be a price to it. We are much closer to a cashless economy than you think, but is that truly where we want to go?

By Josh Hamilton

Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

Three Reasons Cloud Adoption Can Close The Federal Government’s Tech Gap

Federal Government Cloud Adoption

No one has ever accused the U.S. government of being technologically savvy. Aging software, systems and processes, internal politics, restricted budgets and a cultural resistance to change have set the federal sector years behind its private sector counterparts. Data and information security concerns have also been a major contributing factor inhibiting the adoption of new technologies such as the cloud. Keeping data on-premise has long-been considered to be the more secure option; however, ever-increasing incidents of hacking, data breaches and even cyber terrorism within government entities from the IRS to most recently, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), indicate that change is needed, and fast.

Slowly, but surely, a technology revolution is taking place within the public sector. Due in large part to the introduction of the Obama administration’s “Cloud First” policy in late 2010, the establishment of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), a standardized approach for conducting security assessments, authorizations and monitoring for cloud technologies, as well as innovations in cloud offerings themselves, cloud adoption among federal agencies is taking off. The General Services Administration (GSA), Department of the Interior (DOI), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), NASA, and even the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and NSA are just a few of the many agencies who have embraced cloud solutions in recent months and years. Further, with IDC’s recent Federal Cloud Forecast projecting sustained growth through 2018, the public sector is nearing its tipping point in cloud adoption.

Should this trend continue as expected, below are three reasons that cloud adoption can be the answer to close the federal government’s technology gap.

Availability of Clear Guidelines for Cloud Adoption

In the past, government agencies lacked a clear roadmap for evaluating and selecting authorized cloud providers, making it difficult for the technology to break through in the federal sector. According to the FedRAMP website, this resulted in, “a redundant, inconsistent, time-consuming, costly and inefficient risk management approach to cloud adoption.”

The introduction of FedRAMP has provided agencies with much-needed guidelines and structure to accelerate the use of cloud technology in all facets of the government. Today, cloud systems are authorized in a defined (and repeatable) three-step process: security assessment, leveraging & authorization, and ongoing assessment & authorization. Among its benefits, the federal program estimates that its framework will decrease costs by 30-40 percent and will reduce both time and staff resources associated with redundant cloud assessments across agencies.

Incentives to Focus on Cyber-Security

In October 2015, U.S. federal government CIO Tony Scott professed his support for the cloud during a Google at Work webcast, saying:

I see the big cloud providers in the same way I see a bank. They have the incentive, they have skills and abilities, and they have the motivation to do a much better job of security than any one company or any one organization can probably do.”

He’s right, and his comments represent a stark departure from the general consensus in the public sector just a few short years ago. Applying the same security measures and best practices to legacy, on-premise solutions requires both time and significant spend—both of which the government lacks. The competitive nature of the cloud business in recent years has challenged providers to adopt agile security practices, resulting in solutions that are secure, reliable and execute seamlessly. From email management systems to data storage services, continued cloud adoption at the federal-level will enable agencies to achieve long-term benefits that will eventually be impossible to achieve with on-premise systems, including advanced cybersecurity capabilities, guaranteed business continuity, as well as enhanced performance management functionality.


Bring Greater Efficiency in IT Spending

In February 2015, the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers (IAITAM) released a report criticizing the U.S. government on its IT spending. The report suggested that while the federal government spends over six times more on IT per employee than its private sector counterpart, it also wastes 50 percent of its more than $70 billion IT budget due to a lack of standardization and controls. Combined, these factors have created a breeding ground for IT failures and exploits from threats inside and outside government walls. This is further indication that the existing status quo is inefficient and is putting the government (and U.S. citizens) at risk.

Over time, leveraging the “pay-as-you-go” model of the cloud, federal sector can decrease its IT spending, creating new efficiencies. Software and application management for example, which requires abundant resources to oversee in on-premise deployments, is virtually eliminated with a cloud-based solution. From business continuity and software maintenance to eventually, compliance and IT risk-related activities, the onus, falls on the cloud provider, not the customer. Thus, federal IT workers are freed up to focus on more mission-critical initiatives, rather than spinning wheels on inefficient technology, programs and processes.

While it will take some time before the cloud truly takes off in the federal sector, it’s hard to ignore the benefits that both the private sector and forward-thinking government agencies have seen with the technology to date. The time is now to make a change for good. If the U.S. wants to be viewed as one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world, it’s prudent that the government itself practice what it preaches, doing what’s needed to establish the country as a leader, rather than a follower, in this rapidly-evolving digital age.

By Vibhav Agarwal

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How You Can Improve Customer Experience With Fast Data Analytics

How You Can Improve Customer Experience With Fast Data Analytics

Fast Data Analytics In today’s constantly connected world, customers expect more than ever before from the companies they do business with. With the emergence of big data, businesses have been able to better meet and exceed customer expectations thanks to analytics and data science. However, the role of data in your business’ success doesn’t end…

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…

Micro-segmentation – Protecting Advanced Threats Within The Perimeter

Micro-segmentation – Protecting Advanced Threats Within The Perimeter

Micro-segmentation Changing with the times is frequently overlooked when it comes to data center security. The technology powering today’s networks has become increasingly dynamic, but most data center admins still employ archaic security measures to protect their network. These traditional security methods just don’t stand a chance against today’s sophisticated attacks. That hasn’t stopped organizations…

5 Ways To Ensure Your Cloud Solution Is Always Operational

5 Ways To Ensure Your Cloud Solution Is Always Operational

Ensure Your Cloud Is Always Operational We have become so accustomed to being online that we take for granted the technological advances that enable us to have instant access to everything and anything on the internet, wherever we are. In fact, it would likely be a little disconcerting if we really mapped out all that…

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Your Biggest Data Security Threat Could Be….

Paying Attention To Data Security Your biggest data security threat could be sitting next to you… Data security is a big concern for businesses. The repercussions of a data security breach ranges from embarrassment, to costly lawsuits and clean-up jobs – particularly when confidential client information is involved. But although more and more businesses are…

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

How to Identify and Authenticate in the Expanding IoT Ecosystem It is a necessity to protect IoT devices and their associated data. As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, the need to create an identity to newly-connected things is becoming increasingly crucial. These ‘things’ can include anything from basic sensors and gateways to industrial controls…


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