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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)

Managing Your Hybrid Cloud | @CloudExpo #AI #ML #Cloud #Cognitive Computing

Runaway cloud computing cost may be causing an information technology industry crisis. Expanding requirements, extended transition schedules and misleading marketplace hype have made "Transformation" a dirty word.  Questions about how to manage cost variances and deviations with assets and cost across different suppliers abound. A  recent Cloud Tech article explained that while public cloud offers considerable cost savings in comparison to private or on-premises based alternatives, there may also be significant hidden costs. Operational features like auto-scaling can cause costs to soar in line with demand for resources, making predicting costs difficult and budgeting even harder. There is also an acute need for a holistic and heterogeneous system that can track the costs of cloud services from the point of consumption (e.g., an application or business unit) down to... (more)

Crisis Response Using Cloud Computing | @CloudExpo #ML #IoT #AI #DX #DevOps #FedRAMP

Cloud computing is more than servers and storage. In a crisis situation it can actually be a lifesaver. BlackBerry, in fact, has just become the first cloud-based crisis communication service to receive a Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) authorization from the United States Government for its AtHoc Alert and AtHoc Connect services. If you're not familiar with FedRAMP, it is a US government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. The Blackberry certification was sponsored by the US Federal Aviation Administration. While you may not need a US Government certified solution in an emergency, your organization may really want to consider the benefits of cloud computing for crisis response. From a communications point of view, companies can... (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)

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)

The BYOD Problem | @CloudExpo #Cloud #Mobile #Security

Everyone wants their device of choice right there next to them 24/7.  To an employer, however, that smart device is nothing more than a dagger posed to rip apart every shred of corporate security. This reality of modern business was highlighted by the Information Security Community on LinkedIn through their 2016 Spotlight Report on "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD). The key trends influencing enterprise BYOD and mobile security line up as follows: Increased employee mobility (63%), satisfaction (56%) and productivity (55%) dominate as the top drivers of BYOD. These employee related drivers are considered more important than reduced costs (47%). Security (39%) and employee privacy (12%) are the biggest inhibitors of BYOD adoption. 20% of surveyed organizations have suffered a mobile security breach, primarily driven by malware and malicious WiFi. Security threats to BYOD... (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)

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)

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)

The Top 150 Players in Cloud Computing

Cloud Expo Early Bird Savings A robust ecosystem of solutions providers is emerging around cloud computing. Here, SYS-CON's Cloud Computing Journal expands its list of most active players in the fast-emerging Cloud Ecosystem, from the 'mere' 100 we identified back in January of this year, to half as many again - testimony, if any further were needed, to the fierce and continuing growth of the "Elastic IT" paradigm throughout the world of enterprise computing. Editorial note: The words in quotation marks used to describe the various services and solutions in this round-up are in every case taken from the Web sites cited. As ever we encourage software engineers, developers, IT operations managers, and new/growing companies in every case to "suck it and see" by downloading or otherwise sampling the offering in question for themselves. (Omissions to this Top 150 list sh... (more)