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GCN : August 2013
GCN AUGUST 2013 • GCN.COM 13 In high-frequency securities trading, milliseconds -- even meters -- can mean money. Algorithms that govern the trading process can move transactions so quickly that a few seconds jump on market information can translate into a nancial advantage for buyers and sellers. That's why investment rms in New York are snapping up of ce space in the city's nancial district and con- verting it to data centers. And according to a report by CNBC, a similar phenomenon is taking place in the nation's capital, where market- moving economic data is released on a daily basis. Firms that trade on government eco- nomic data are paying for server space on K Street, converting what was once an address for high-powered lobbyists into a home for high-powered analytical data centers. CoreSite, a company that operates data centers around the country, includ- ing a data center on K Street, offers nancial traders "co-located" comput- ers right in the heart of Washington. From there, it can provide split- access access to a steady stream of economic indicators from key nancial of ces, including the Department of Labor's monthly employment report released from the agency's Constitu- tion Ave. headquarters; changes to the Fed funds rate, announced from Treasury building on Pennsylvania Ave; and other economic big data generat- ed from the departments of Commerce and Justice along the National Mall, according to CNBC. As long as three year ago, CoreSite said its Washington, D.C., data center could offer "more than a millisecond ad- vantage over suburbs such as Ashburn, Virginia," according to a report from Data Center Knowledge, a CoreSite's low-latency hub. • Data center trades on its location for split-second access to federal data BY SUSAN MILLER Saddled with shrinking budgets, smaller cities often lack the resources to buy the leading-edge technology needed to ef ciently deliver services to businesses and citizens. As a result, a growing num- ber of municipalities are exploring ways to automate and streamline civic func- tions -- such as asset management, land management, licensing and permitting applications -- via cloud-based services. For instance, of cials in Nogales, Ariz., a city of 20,948 people near the Mexico border, are looking to revitalize the downtown community and restore historic buildings that are over 100 years old. Along with the revitalization move, city of cials wanted the Public Works Department to track building permits daily, according to Hector Tapia, the as- sistant public works director for Nogales. Lacking the resources to buy new IT equipment, the city turned to Accela, which offers a suite of cloud-based civic applications under the umbrella of Civic Cloud. The move eliminated the need for the city to purchase new computer hardware, software and servers, allowing the agency to purchase only the licenses necessary to improve the of ce work- ow, Tapia said. The city's goal is to implement a "one- stop shop" for development plan review and the permitting process. To accom- plish this, Nogales deployed Accela Au- tomation, a Web-based application with global search and integrated mapping capabilities. Automation lets workers share information across departments and communicate with workers in the eld. Additionally, the Public Works Department will deploy Accela Citizen Access, a Web interface for initiating and tracking service requests. These cloud-based solutions will eventually be extended to Apple iOS, Android and Microsoft Windows mobile tablets and smartphones to give inspec- tors and eld agents real-time access so they can update project les from their mobile devices. Accela offers city governments a complete suite of business services through the Civic Cloud, company of- cials said. Speci c civic solutions can be tailored to unique agency require- ments by Accela or partner professional services staff. Agencies can also buy and quickly deploy the applications as packaged quick-start solutions, which are precon gured to the most common agency needs. Other cities are turning to cloud- based services for licensing and permit processing. Chelmsford, Mass., recently selected a new system that will let residents apply for permits online. ViewPermit will provide an integrated system -- rolled out over the next few months -- that will combine GIS data and licensing information in a cloud-based environment. • Cities take licensing, permit services to the cloud BY RUTRELL YASIN