States Up Their Data Center Game

Nicole Blake Johnson, StateTech,  Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A number of state and local governments are downsizing IT staff through attrition, collapsing data centers and rationalizing applications. They’re gradually backing out of the data-center business and tapping commercial vendors to host government applications in the cloud. In some cases, they’re co-locating with other governments.

Better Budgets Spark Growing Tech Activity

Steve Towns, Government Technology,  Tuesday, March 10, 2015

With tax revenue bouncing back, states and localities are poised to spend billions of dollars on technology this year. E.Republic’s annual Beyond the Beltway Conference held this week just outside Washington, D.C., offered insight into how state and local CIOs intend to use those funds. The big winners will be system modernization, cybersecurity and open data, according to more than a dozen city, county and state CIOs who talked about their priorities at the day-long conference on Monday. They also pointed to issues around privacy and storage created by emerging trends like police video.

Global privacy standards mean nothing until governments step up

J. Peter Bruzzese, InfoWorld,  Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Microsoft recently announced it's the first major cloud provider to adopt the global cloud privacy standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Auditors verified that Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online, and Intune conform to the standard (ISO 27018) designed to protect personally identifiable information (PII) in the cloud, addressing a fear that users and businesses share in many countries -- especially users, businesses, and governments in Europe. But what does that compliance really get you? ISO 27018 is a good starting point to protect personal data, as Microsoft has outlined. But Microsoft has to do whatever legal authorities tell it, so its protections are subject to governments' often secret and inconsistent interpretations of their authority.

Intelligence In The Cloud: Lockheed Martin And Esri Cloud Deployment Enables Geospatial Information Sharing Across Intel Community

CNN Money / PR Newswire,  Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The deployment of the portal for Esri's ArcGIS geographic information system (GIS) provides a single environment for analysts to securely organize and share data throughout the intelligence community and Department of Defense. It's also the foundational step in consolidating multiple geospatial intelligence portals into the single NGA-provided portal, resulting in technology and license cost savings. This is NGA's second pioneering step in the cloud, after the agency moved their Map of the World application to the C2S environment late last year.

Why Hybrid Cloud Continues to Grow: A Look at Real Use-Cases

Bill Kleyman, Data Center Knowledge,  Monday, February 16, 2015

Moving forward, the hybrid cloud model will give end-users even more services and benefits. A recent Gartner report found that the use of cloud computing is growing, and by 2016 this growth will increase to become the bulk of new IT spend. 2016 will be a defining year for cloud as private cloud begins to give way to hybrid cloud. By the end of 2017, nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments.

Microsoft beats rivals to certify under new public cloud security standard

Business Cloud News,  Monday, February 16, 2015

Microsoft has adopted a relatively new ISO standard that specifies measures to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in public cloud environments. The company claims it is the first public cloud provider to do so. Microsoft, a huge advocate of regulatory reform around data privacy rights in the US, is currently embroiled in a court case that has seen the IT giant repeatedly challenge US District Court rulings compelling it to hand over email and contact information stored in its cloud platform in Ireland as part of a drug-trafficking trial. The company is currently supporting a number of recently introduced laws that seek to limit the reach of US courts over data stored in cloud services located outside the US.

Microsoft Azure: The first cloud computing platform to conform to ISO/IEC 27018, the only international set of privacy controls in the cloud

Lori Woehler, Microsoft Azure Blog,  Monday, February 16, 2015

Earlier this month, we highlighted a number of new compliance milestones for Microsoft Azure. Among these developments was that the British Standards Institution (BSI) validated that Azure incorporates controls that are aligned to the ISO/IEC 27018 code of practice for the protection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in public clouds acting as PII processors. ISO 27018 is the first international set of privacy controls in the cloud, and Azure is the first cloud computing platform to adopt ISO 27018.

EU mulls new rules to free up the cloud market

Phil Wainewright, Diginomica,  Thursday, February 12, 2015

So what’s new? The topline messaging is all about achieving the long-awaited ‘digital single market’ that sweeps away national barriers to delivering cloud services across Europe, especially for small businesses. This isn’t new in itself although there’s a hint of increased urgency this year to complete this project. At the same time, the Commission continues to maintain that the cloud market will only take off if clear standards are defined, on the grounds that businesses won’t buy into cloud without some certainty about what exactly is guaranteed.

The Role of Privacy Practices in Information Management

Tracy Mitrano and Jacob Cunningham, EDUCAUSE,  Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cloud computing shifts the institutional burden from technology to contract formation. Nowhere is this shift more notable than in information management. Many privacy practices and technical security controls must be negotiated up front with the vendor. Physical technology rests on their premises while the institution's regulatory, business needs, and ethical responsibilities to maintain the information appropriately do not change.

Analyzing the Federal Government's Use of the Cloud

Joshua Bleiberg and Darrell M. West, Brookings,  Monday, February 09, 2015

Since 2009 the federal government started the process of replacing local computers with cloud platforms. A recent report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) provides an interesting view into the progress of these investments. It reveals the benefits that public agencies gain when using cloud services and the barriers they face when making the transition.