The cloud space continues to evolve at an astounding pace.

While there continues to be some mystique around the use of the cloud, it’s safe to say that many enterprises have successfully adopted it.

The New Standard

According to PC World, cloud has become mainstream with adoption to some degree by nearly 90 percent of businesses. What’s more, according to NSK, an information technology consulting and outsourcing firm, 82 percent of companies that have moved to the cloud are saving money.

Gartner not only named cloud one of the top technology trends for 2015: It also proclaimed cloud as the new standard for application development. According to Gartner, “Cloud is the new style of elastically scalable, self-service computing and both internal applications and external applications will be built on this new style.”

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As companies struggle to manage and secure BYOD devices, they are increasingly turning to cloud computing as a solution.

Despite their concern about managing and securing BYOD devices, more than half of respondents do not have a BYOD policy in place. Yet, nearly half of respondents are considering implementing BYOD over the next 12 months.

Despite potential benefits such as increased employee productivity and reduced IT costs, BYOD faces a number of barriers, including lack of IT team resources and skills at 60 percent, range of platform and device preferences at 54 percent and lack of executive buy-in with 40 percent.

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A new IBM study revealed that nearly 90 percent of IT security leaders have adopted the cloud or are currently planning cloud initiatives. And of these respondents, 75 percent said they expect their cloud security budgets to increase or increase dramatically over the next three to five years.

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Movement within FirstNet’s leadership continued this week, with board member and public-safety veteran Jeff Johnson being named as the organization’s new vice chairman and the announcement that Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Ali Afrashteh has resigned for personal reasons.

Industry observers have predicted for months that Johnson would be named as vice chairman. Johnson has chaired FirstNet’s Outreach Committee since its creation and headed FirstNet’s outreach efforts on an operational basis until full-time staff was hired to do the job.

“I’m pleased to tell you that Jeff Johnson has agreed to accept this position as vice chair, and I cannot be more pleased about that,” FirstNet Chairwoman Sue Swenson said during yesterday’s meeting of FirstNet’s Governance and Personnel Committee. “Jeff and I have known each other since FirstNet began, and we’ve worked very closely together.

“For those of you who know Jeff, this won’t come as a surprise. You know that Jeff has spent his career in public safety, so he knows this extremely. He was also a significant member of the group that actually created the enabling legislation that made FirstNet a reality.”

Indeed, Johnson was one of the key public-safety officials that lobbied for several years on Capitol Hill to convince federal lawmakers to reallocate the 700 MHz D Block spectrum to first responders. In 2012, Congress passed a law that reallocated the D Block airwaves, created FirstNet and dedicated $7 billion in federal revenues to fund FirstNet’s mission to develop a nationwide broadband network for public safety.

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Google predicts the best days are still ahead for cloud computing.

The pace at which customers are moving their data to the cloud is picking up, and the price of such services will drop at a slower pace in 2015 compared to this year, said Barak Regev, Google’s cloud chief for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“The adoption curve is extremely accelerating and we’re seeing it coming from a variety of companies,” Regev said today at the Bloomberg Enterprise Technology Summit in London. Cloud is “bigger than any market out there if you think about the potential for adoption — even bigger than the advertising market.”

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The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has become the first intelligence agency to host a large-scale operational capability in Amazon’s cloud.

That move comes just months after the Amazon Web Services-built cloud for the intelligence community officially came online.

NGA’s migration of its Map of the World application – often called the backbone of the agency’s geospatial efforts – to the C2S environment signals the IC’s intent to revolutionize how it manages information technology.

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Revolutions in corporate IT systems tend to take years. But even in slow motion, the effects can at times be startling.

So it is with the current swing towards cloud computing, which is poised to pick up momentum next year.

Established leaders in the IT industry have been trying, with mixed success, to demonstrate they are still relevant in a world of vast and agile data centres and technology delivered as a service.

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The internet proves to be more than just an vast reservoir of information – yet again – by offering a solution that makes business operations more efficient than ever.

Here comes cloud computing. Webopedia.com describes it as a type of computing that relies on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers or personal devices to handle applications.

Simply put, it is the use of the internet – instead of local hard drives – for managing files and running programs to be used in carrying out daily business tasks. Since time, money and people are the most important resources a company could possess, cloud computing offers a way to streamline processes and help achieve goals in the most cost-efficient manner.

This is obviously good for any business that has ample resources to acquire such a technology. But are there any other benefits that can make cloud computing really worth it?

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IDC issued today its top 10 predictions for 2015. In a webcast (and accompanying report), IDC’s Frank Gens advised companies in all industries to “Amazon” themselves, but also predicted that the best job of “Amazoning” will be done by Amazon itself.

Here’s my edited version of IDC’s 2015 predictions:

New technologies will account for 100% of growth

Worldwide IT and telecommunications spending will grow 3.8% in 2015 to more than $3.8 trillion. Nearly all of this spending growth and one third of total spending will be focused on new technologies such as mobile, cloud, big data analytics and the Internet of Things.

Wireless data, the largest segment of the telecommunications sector, will also be the fastest growing

Wireless data will be the largest ($536 billion) and fastest growing (13%) segment of telecom spending. Net Neutrality will be mandated in the US, with a hybrid approach that will provide a baseline of services available to all.

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Public-safety answering points (PSAPs) should be able to get much more accurate location data from 911 callers using wireless devices indoors by leveraging information provided by commercial infrastructure such as small cells, Wi-Fi systems and Bluetooth beacons, officials for the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) said in describing the details of the recent agreement struck with the four nationwide U.S. wireless carriers.

Much of the attention focused on the agreement has centered on the notion of carriers delivering a “dispatchable address” for each 911 call using a wide variety of commercial infrastructure instead of just relying on satellite GPS and network-based triangulation to determine XY coordinates that can be translated into a physical address for first responders.

“Certainly, we believe that this is new thinking, if you will, with respect to looking at 911 location, because it now moves to a specific address and a specific location that is better than metrics of meters,” NENA CEO Brian Fontes said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “Nonetheless, there will still be improvement in location, short of the dispatchable address.”

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