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How a Cloud Can Help Our Government Innovate

How a Cloud Can Help Our Government Innovate


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“It’s all about a cloud.”  We hear or see that word in meetings, presentations, email pitches, articles — constantly. Aside from a trend, cloud in a sovereign supervision is fueled by 3 essential trends:

  1. Agencies are seeking a Cloud First approach in their new record investments; 
  2. They need to do some-more with existent or fewer resources; and,
  3. Government leaders have a enterprise to perform citizens’ needs that direct some-more amicable and mobile channels to engage.

An proclamation final week of an alliance between IBM and SAP will assistance to accelerate adoption of a cloud by enterprises, including those in a sovereign government.

Currently, most of a discourse seems focused on a infrastructure, or information core converging and decisions about what to pierce to a cloud. Those are vicious issues and need a courtesy of CIOs and a IT community. But as a sovereign supervision shifts to a cloud, we contingency not remove steer of how this new infrastructure can be a apparatus for innovation.

So far, accurately how a cloud can coax creation seems to be blank from a narrative.

A dark gem in cloud computing is a ability to yield developers, tech entrepreneurs and zealous technologists with easy entrance to resources that would routinely need outrageous investments in program and servers. Using a pay-as-you-go model, developers can now entrance a extended portfolio of middleware and services, and build worldly apps that can renovate industries and, in a box of a open sector, renovate citizen engagement.

Relying on a DevOps model, cloud environments can be provisioned in a matter of seconds. Developers can start possibly hosting applications or developing, deploying and scaling new innovative applications and services in hours rather than months. 

We’ve seen a energy of this proceed with Bluemix, IBM’s Platform as a Service (PaaS), that runs on a SoftLayer cloud infrastructure. It allows for a fast and flexible growth of new born-on-the-cloud applications for an increasingly mobile, socially connected and data-intensive world. And it is proof to be a profitable apparatus for a open sector.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), for example, worked with IBM Business Partner Synchrony Systems to build and commander a mobile app to lane real-time sight information around mobile updates. In what typically would have taken 6 months, Synchrony was means to go from judgment to building an concentration to deploying a regulating complement in 15 days regulating Bluemix, a 90 percent improvement, according to Synchrony CEO Slavik Zorin.

This past Aug during a U.S. — Africa Leadership Summit, an Africa Open Data Jam was hold with Open Data leaders from opposite a U.S. government, several African nations and a private sector. We demonstrated a antecedent app built regulating that creates use of messaging information from farmers in Africa to assistance improved know stand conditions on that continent.

This is a start, though some-more should be finished to coax this form of creation in a sovereign government.

I trust that a IT village has a purpose to play in enlivening developers who support sovereign agencies to innovate. And that’s because we launched a Bluemix Federal Challenge. We’re providing developers with a no-cost hearing entrance to a Bluemix platform, combined with resources from, to inspire a fast growth of mobile and web apps that can be built and delivered on a cloud, and a concentration of open information and creation to solve real-world problems and raise forms of citizen engagement.

Submissions contingency concentration on one of 3 categories:

  • Connected Park Explorers: Keep hikers, cyclists, and others who revisit U.S. National Parks informed, protected and wakeful of any vital disasters.
  • Rural entrance to knowledge: Improve a lives of farming residents — by regulating a accumulation of information sets from a U.S. Department of Agriculture and a U.S. Department of Interior — to broach information and services to Americans who live outward of vital cities.
  • Safer Society: Combine weather, hazards, trade safety, consumer product information or open reserve datasets to assistance a open find vicious information that keeps people safer and allows them to resume their live in a eventuality of disasters.

The sovereign supervision now has scarcely 250 mobile applications accessible that offer a open entrance to giveaway information. However, sovereign agencies need to pierce divided from simply formulating an concentration that provides a database of information. Instead, agencies need to take advantage of flexible cloud platforms to emanate cutting-edge mobile applications that will keep people aware, sensitive and protected in a timely manner. The IT village has a purpose to play — and a plea is only a start. 

To attend in IBM’s Federal Bluemix Challenge, developers can send an email to to accept serve instructions. Participants contingency also use to entrance a government’s open data sets

A chronicle of this articleappeared on IBM’s []A Smarter Planet blog on Oct. 7, 2014.

To learn more, visit or join a review during #ibmcloud.

Dr. Jane L. Snowdon is Chief Innovation Officer for IBM’s Federal sales force and Director of IBM’s Federal Cloud Innovation Center in Washington, D.C. She co-chairs a Cyber Security Education and Workforce Development Working Group with a Department of Homeland Security and is a member of a Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) Council on Technology and Innovation.

Jane Snowdon

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