cloud computing

May 12, 2017
By Julianne Simpson
SIGNAL's Editor in Chief Robert K. Ackerman sits down with Jasson Walker Jr., founder, president and CEO of cFocus Software Inc., to discuss authority to operate as a service.

Cloud computing is fast becoming the new normal. It can increase efficiency and improve cash flow, making it an attractive and necessary service for both industry and government.

As part of SIGNAL’s executive video series, Editor-in-Chief Robert K. Ackerman sat down with Jasson Walker Jr., founder, president and CEO of cFocus Software Inc., to discuss authority to operate (ATO) as a service. The company’s main focus is providing customers risk management framework compliance when they are looking to move to the cloud.

May 2, 2017

The U.S. Defense Department has initiated a market research effort to identify potential industry sources under a potential five-year, $325 million acquisition program for technical support services. The market research effort could potentially lead to a contract award this fiscal year.

March 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

The move to cloud computing is daunting enough for corporations and governments, but add in the advancing Internet of Things, and any hopes of simple solutions to challenges vanish. The exponential growth of networked devices increases the magnitude of uncertainty about the role the cloud will play in delivering this ubiquitous connectivity.

February 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. Marines in Afghanistan stand watch in a mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle. The Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO) is considering factors such as security and reliability as it carefully weighs which types of data it will move to the cloud.

As the U.S. federal government overcomes the challenges of moving data to the cloud, disruptive changes in research, development and operations may emerge. Military and civil government organizations are seeking similar outcomes as they attempt to migrate their data services to the cloud. The federal government, specifically, is counting on the cloud to help clear up the fog of acquisition and the morass of inefficiency. Experts believe that growing data storage on the cloud can be achieved without complex and costly procurements, and new capabilities and security measures can be deployed much faster when needed. 

November 29, 2016
By Joe Kim

While it’s clear the cloud is the future of government IT, concerns surrounding cloud security continue to abound. Some agency IT personnel remain skittish about handing over data to cloud service providers and skeptical that the data will remain out of the hands of bad actors. As a result, they’re more comfortable housing information in legacy IT systems, even if those systems are, in some cases, decades old and prone to security vulnerabilities.

In truth, deploying a cloud IT infrastructure is ideal for managing today’s ever-changing threat landscape, for several reasons. Here are three reasons why.

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer, speaks about using cloud technology. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Taking advantage of the hybrid cloud environment is the smart thing to do, said Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer.

“We would be completely stupid if we didn’t take advantage of hybrid cloud environment,” Halvorsen said while addressing audience at the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in Honolulu.

He went on to say the department will have a cloud solution providing a set of basic enterprise services, such as email, chat, video and file share. “They will be modeled after commercial, and it will be probably in partnership with a commercial provider,” he said.

November 9, 2016
By Ralph Wade

An impression exists among senior government officials that moving command, control, communication, computers and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems into the cloud is overhyped. They question whether this will improve operational effectiveness. I admit I once shared these reservations, but recently evolved on the subject and now see a compelling rationale for moving C4ISR into the cloud. 

November 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

A cluster of macrotechnologies offers the potential for a new wave of innovation that revolutionizes all aspects of government, military and civilian life. Many of these technologies are familiar, and their effects are well-known. What may not be common knowledge is that the more these technologies advance, the more their synergies increase.

August 3, 2016
By George I. Seffers

One of the biggest advances in the near future likely will be the convergence of major military networks into one unified Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN), predicts Ronald Pontius, deputy to the commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command and Second Army. And that network will be operated and maintained by Signal Corps soldiers.

June 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
An Atlas V lifts National Reconnaissance Office Launch-55, carrying a classified satellite and 13 CubeSats into orbit late last year. The increasing use of digital technologies in intelligence has compelled the CIA to create a new directorate dedicated to incorporating digital innovation across the agency.

The CIA’s newest directorate consolidates several technology business units into one hub organization focused on deeply embracing innovative approaches and capabilities throughout the agency. As part of an effort to make digitization commonplace in both operations and analysis, the CIA also will work with industry to speed up the adoption of cutting-edge technologies. To start, the agency will add some of the latest data capabilities in the infosphere, and then it will nurture new technologies as they emerge from laboratories in government and industry. 

November 1, 2015
By Tim Prendergast

In 2011, then-U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra set the stage for federal agencies to take full advantage of cloud computing benefits through the Cloud First initiative, which mandates that agencies evaluate cloud options before making any new information technology investments. Since then, several agencies, including the General Services Administration, Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture and NASA, have embraced the cloud.

October 8, 2015
By Bob Gourley
The iCub humanoid robot at IDSIA's robotics lab in Switzerland tries to reach for a blue cup.

Remember this scene from The Graduate?
Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

Turns out, plastics was pretty hot. Great tip, Mr. McGuire. I wonder what, if anything, Benjamin did with that tip. More importantly, what is the one word for today?

I think I have it. The word is Cambric. Cambric the finely woven linen? No, CAMBRIC the finely woven acronym:

June 1, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Marine Corps’ development of its own private cloud serves both a functional role in information technology and an operational role in the Corps. Yet challenges remain to its effective exploitation.

May 1, 2015
By Lt. Col. Enrique A. Oti, USAF

In 2013, Wired magazine declared that “The Cloud Revolution is Dead.” The cloud revolution did not end because it failed; on the contrary, it ended because it was a resounding success. The business community reaped the benefits of migrating to cloud architectures in both economic efficiency and customer interface, and it is not going back. Defense Department information technology systems are economically unsustainable, but the department only now is catching the revolutionary spirit of the cloud, and adoption is slow and not in line with advances in the commercial sector.

March 20, 2015

General Dynamics Information Technology, Fairfax, Virginia, will provide strategic support for the design and development of a "Cloud-of-Clouds" information technology (IT) transformation initiative at Sandia National Laboratories, a federally funded research and development center for the National Nuclear Security Administration. General Dynamics will assist in modernizing Sandia’s IT environment by developing the foundation for sustainable, cost-effective cloud computing capabilities for the lab. The company also will develop the business framework, processes, service models, technical architecture and implementation plans that will guide Sandia’s staff as it deploys the new IT model.

March 1, 2015
By Paul A. Strassmann

Much has been said and written about the U.S. Defense Department’s move to the cloud. This migration could provide enhanced security and better information access, say many experts. But it could provide another huge benefit, helping the Defense Department finally curb information infrastructure costs and apply badly needed funds where they would be most useful.

April 1, 2013
By Rita Boland
The U.S. Marine Corps is developing a private cloud computing environment to provide better information services to the tactical edge. Here, communicators set up a Support Wide Area Network System during a training exercise.

As they put the necessary pieces in place, Marines are mindful of tight resources and are seeking help from industry.

For the past year, U.S. Marine Corps technical personnel have been implementing a strategy to develop a private cloud. The initiative supports the vision of the commandant while seeking to offer better services to troops in disadvantaged areas of the battlefield.

January 20, 2015
By George I. Seffers

Moving to a cloud environment will save government agencies money, but those savings may not be great, especially in the short term. The cloud environment will, however, provide a range of valuable capabilities, according to three government chief technology officers.

“If you went to the senior executives, they would say it’s all about saving money. I’m going to tell you, though, there isn’t necessarily the immediate savings you might think there is,” said David Mihelcic, chief technology officer, Defense Information Systems Agency. Mihelcic made the comments January 15 at the Federal Cloud Computing Summit in Washington, D.C.

December 12, 2014
By George I. Seffers

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) became the first intelligence agency to host an operational capability within Amazon Web Services’ Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) environment after Lockheed Martin deployed NGA’s interactive Map of the World to C2S. With the Map of the World viewer, which could be compared to Google Maps or similar applications, now resting in the cloud, NGA officials intend to add more data and capabilities.

October 22, 2014

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published the final version of the "U.S. Government Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap, Volumes I and II," which focuses on strategic and tactical objectives to support the federal government’s accelerated adoption of cloud computing.

The road map leverages the strengths and resources of government, industry, academia and standards development organizations to support technology innovation in cloud computing, according to a written announcement from NIST.

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