News Feature | December 26, 2013

Government IT News For VARs — December 26, 2013

By Bernadette Wilson, associate editor, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @bernadeditor

Big Data

In the news, businesses are turning government open data in to business opportunities and some technology-related issues have the attention of legislators.

Apache Hadoop Forum Slated

The government Big Data community will gather on Feb. 6, 2014 at the Apache Hadoop Forum. The event in Hanover, MD, will focus on trends in government and how Big Data is driving transformations.  The event will also present information on how Big Data is used to provide insight, cost savings, and threat management.  A GCN article looks at how Apache Hadoop — the open-source framework that allows distributed processing of large data sets over clusters of computes — is emerging in the mainstream.  Commercial versions of Hadoop are available, as well as more secure and more scalable versions of the software.  In addition, Hadoop is moving toward handling work in real time, rather than processing batch workloads. Users are also leveraging search capabilities along with Hadoop. The “enterprise data hub” — also a topic of the forum — is the result of these advancements. 

Businesses Translate Government Data Into Opportunity

Businesses are finding a niche in transforming government data into consumer and business applications. An Information Week Government article provides links to lists of the companies developing apps that use government data. GovLab is studying these companies and promoting ways entrepreneurs are using this data to build their businesses.

Technology-Related Legislation To Watch in 2014

An article in Government Technology suggests watching a number of technology-related issues that have the attention of legislators. For example, a senate bill proposes rural states get a better share of federal communications services by changing the distribution of the Universal Service Fund. A group of Minnesota legislators have questioned the use of tracking devices that collect cell phone and location information. In addition, Wisconsin is considering establishing guidelines for license plate readers.

Use Of Facial Recognition Technology In Law Enforcement Could Grow

According to a PoliceOne.com article, facial recognition technology will become more prevalent in law enforcement. Currently, 12 U.S. states do not use facial recognition technology. Other states allow limited use in criminal investigations. Only in Ohio can police officers use facial recognition technology within their duties.

Government IT Talking Points

A Government Health IT article reports the public sector attracts too few skilled professionals for IT jobs. Freedman Consulting interviewed about 50 current and former policy makers and in its report, included some of their concerns, including, “If the public sector can’t be smart and agile with new technologies, it will really atrophy.”

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