Sunday, May 18, 2008

Google, Cloud Computing, and the US Intelligence Community - April 29, 2008

Just arrived in Los Angeles for the IBM Business Partner Leadership Conference. IBM is billing this as a "new" conference, but I have my doubts. I am, however, very interested in hearing many of the speakers, particularly Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO of Google. His presentation on "The Future of the Web, Cloud Computing and Innovation" should be quite interesting.

Since my focus is on technology in the public sector, the impact of Web 2.0 technologies is really turning my head. According to Maryann Lawlor of Signal Magazine, even government agencies are recognizing the effect of Web 2.0. According to her, "The Web 2.0 revolution is impelling cultural change faster and to a greater degree than ever experienced in recorded history, and democracies that answer to their populaces already are feeling the effects of that change—and ignore those effects at their own risk."

William Vajda, chief information officer (CIO), U.S. Department of Education, and co-chairman of the best practices committee, CIO Council is also watching these technologies closely. He describes Google as an internet intermediaries— an entities that is willing to step in and give the people what they want because they have access to the questions that people actually ask. This position makes then better positioned to know what is on the public’s mind than some government officials.

The U.S. intelligence community is also getting into the act. For example the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has made these technologies part of its information-sharing acceleration campaign. They have even developed a Wikipedia knock-off called Intellipedia for intelligence community.

For more on Web 2.0 in the US Government see Signal Magazine's online article, Governing in a Web 2.0 World .
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