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GCN : January 2013
EDITOR'S DESK BY PAUL MCCLOSKEY HOW TO REACH THE STAFF You can reach staff members of 1105 Government Information Group. A list of staff members can be found online at www.gcn. com. Go to Contact GCN andclick on GCN Editors, Writers, Staff and Beats. Staff members of the 1105 Government Information Group can also be reached by e-mail, phone, fax or mail.E- MAIL: To e-mail staff members, please use the naming convention of rst initial followed by their last name @1105govinfo.com. So John Smith would be firstname.lastname@example.org. PHONE OR FAX: The switchboard is open weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern time. After 5:30 p.m. you will be directed to individual extensions. VIENNA OFFICE: (703) 876-5100; Fax (703) 876-5059. 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500, Vienna, VA 22182-2215. CORPORATE OFFICE: (weekdays, 8:30 a.m. -- 5:30 p.m. PT) Telephone 818-814-5200; Fax 818-734-1522 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311 EDITORIAL INQUIRIES: Go to gcn.com/pressroom REPRINTS: For all editorial and advertising reprints of 100 copies or more,and digital (Web-based) reprints, contact PARS International, Phone (212) 221-9195, E-mail: 1105reprints@ parsintl.com/QuickQuote.asp EDITORIAL STAFF EDITOR-IN-CHIEF PAUL McCLOSKEY MANAGING EDITOR KEVIN McCANEY EDITORS/WRITERS MANAGING EDITOR ONLINE SUSAN MILLER MANAGING EDITOR PRINT DAVID HUBLER MANAGING EDITOR HEATHER KULDELL SOCIAL MEDIA SENIOR EDITOR RUTRELL YASIN GCN LAB DIRECTOR JOHN BREEDEN II SENIOR WRITER WILLIAM JACKSON STAFF WRITER GREG CROWE CONTRIBUTING WRITERS MICHAEL DACONTA, KATHLEEN HICKEY, PATRICK MARSHALL, SHAWN MCCARTHY, EDITORIAL/ONLINE PRODUCTION CREATIVE DIRECTOR JEFF LANGKAU ASSISTANT DRAGUTIN CVIJANOVIC ART DIRECTOR SENIOR WEB BISWARUP DESIGNERS BHATTACHARJEE MARTIN PEACE DIGITAL MEDIA WILLIAM WINTON PRODUCT MANAGER PRESIDENT & CHIEF ANNE A. ARMSTRONG CONTENT OFFICER CHIEF OPERATING ABRAHAM M. LANGER OFFICER SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT JENNIFER WEISS & GROUP PUBLISHER VICE PRESIDENT, CARMEL McDONAGH MARKETING PRESIDENT & CHIEF NEAL VITALE EXECUTIVE OFFICER SENIOR VICE RICHARD VITALE PRESIDENT & CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER EXECUTIVE MICHAEL J. VALENTI VICE PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT, CHRISTOPHER M. COATE FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION VICE PRESIDENT, ERIK A. LINDGREN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT VICE PRESIDENT, DAVID F. MYERS EVENT OPERATIONS CHAIRMAN OF JEFFREY S. KLEIN THE BOARD www.gcn.com Volume 32 Issue 1 Lately the arrival of "everything- as-a-service" seems to be accepted as being right around the corner if not already in full swing, at least for corporate America s highest performers. In government shops, the term is heard less often, but its swift arrival seems implied. Generally, XaaS is understood to be the growing family of vir- tual services that deliver the basic advantages of cloud computing, including rapidly configured and provisioned services on demand and as needed over the Internet. Today XaaS refers to a mix of services, including desktop, storage, network, database and communications-as-a-service, as well as avant garde o erings such as security and identity manage- ment as services. But the list keeps growing. The latest flavor I ve come across: GaaS, or gam- ing as a service. Government agencies are now only beginning to line up at the XaaS bu et, with most incorpo- rating more basic utility services, including desktop and storage. For agencies, more exotic XaaS services are well down the road. Even so, government is invest- ing in these and even more advanced virtual services. In this issue, we explore a set of pilot projects anchored by agencies and industry partners to set up an ID management "eco-system," where specialized authentication services can be made available as the requirements of a transaction dictate. Although these projects are not cloud services per se, they reflect the ongoing search by gov- ernment for automated solutions to handle even its most sophisti- cated requirements. This trend is a lifeline for government, especially during a time of financial austerity and budget cutting. But it does raise red flags, especially for more advanced XaaS-type services where the lines of control and re- sponsibility between government and its services providers may not always be clear. In this case, how will agencies maintain the oversight necessary to maintain su cient public trust in theses services? Beyond sound policy, agencies should have tools that can give them clear visibility into the data and services running on these networks. Dashboards provid- ing near-real time metrics on the health and security of their data and applications would also help give agency managers virtual control of these sensitive services. No matter what flavor of XaaS an agency is contracting for, it will pay to have back-up services available, a tenet of the continu- ity of operations playbook. In the emerging world of XaaS, agency IT managers will also need flex- ibility to move services rapidly from one platform or service provider to another as emergen- cies occur and requirements shift. To do so, agencies will need the tools that enable them to track their services across an expand- ing mix of cloud platforms and providers. XaaS can be good for govern- ment, provided a high degree of transparency into the operations of its service providers can be established. This in turn will depend on the strength and availability of new tools that can provide agencies real-time vis- ibility across public and private cloud networks. Without these safeguards, agencies risk losing the public trust in outsourcing these ser- vices and there may come a point when everything-as-a-service be- comes too-much-as-a-service. • IS GOVERNMENT READY FOR EVERY- THING-AS-A-SERVICE? 4 GCN JANUARY 2013 • GCN.COM GCN (ISSN 0738-4300) is published monthly by 1105 Media, Inc., 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Ste. 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311. Periodicals postage paid at Chatsworth, CA 91311-9998, and at additional mailing of ces. Complimentary subscriptions are sent to qualifying subscribers. Annual subscription rates payable in U.S. funds for non-quali ed subscribers are: U.S. $125.00, International $165.00. Subscription inquiries, back issue requests, and address changes: Mail to: GCN, P.O. Box 2166, Skokie, IL 60076-7866, call (866) 293-3194, outside U.S. (847) 763-9560; fax (847) 763-9564 or email GCNmag@1105service.com. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to GCN, P.O. Box 2166, Skokie, IL 60076-7866. 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