A terrorist is targeting one of the major high-rise buildings downtown. He picks up his cell phone and types an update to Facebook so his family knows he’s ok. Just as he hits “Post,” law enforcement swoops in from every angle and surrounds him so there is nowhere for him to run. They cuff him and bring him to the station. It’s a great day for this task force. They’ve been following this criminal for a while, and now he’s officially in their custody and off the street. He can’t hurt anyone now.
KEEPING LAW ENFORCEMENT RELEVANT & EFFECTIVE
Sounds like your typical Tuesday night TV drama, right? Fortunately, with Hitachi’s recent advances in connecting data intelligence tools, cutting down on data silos will increase response times for law enforcement. These positive steps make it easier and more efficient to keep communities safe. This is part of a broad commitment by Hitachi to Social Innovation in order to make society safer, sustainable, healthier, and more comfortable by leveraging the IoT, big data analytics, and IT infrastructure technologies.
If you think this all sounds like some sort of real-life CSI, you’re absolutely right. Police departments are actually able to pull up a map of the city and see relevant information like social media posts and video from strategically placed cameras and where they happened on the map in addition to the time. Although court documents still need to be obtained in order to access any information on someone’s phone, police can access any public information. For example, law enforcement is unable to use someone’s phone location to find them, but they can use social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, which often provide the user’s location as the user posts.
SMART TOOLS FOR SMART CITIES
So, what is this wonder tool delivering dynamic situational awareness to public safety officials across the globe? It’s the converged solution, Hitachi Visualization. This converged solution literally gives city officials the opportunity to move from making reactive decisions to using real-time insights and predictive crime analytics as part of a more proactive decision-making process.
To support a data-driven, citizen-centric police philosophy, the Austin, Texas Police Department (APD) is using the Hitachi Visualization Platform (HVP) to collect, share, and analyze information. HVP edge-capture camera devices allow the city to monitor activity in real time for targeting city areas, providing potential crime evidence, and supporting public safety goals. “We’ve been able to reengineer our department into a data-driven and intel-based policing organization. The public safety camera project is designed to aid the city in deterring, detecting, and investigating crimes,” said Troy Gay, Assistant Chief of the APD.
The goal of the APD was to implement a real-time observation project with digital cameras posted in crime-dense areas of the city, including Rundberg, Sixth Street, and the Warehouse District. The venture officially became known as the HALO Public Safety Camera Project (HALO is short for High Activity Location Observation) and it is part of an ongoing effort to reduce crime in these “hot spots.”
With Phases I and II successfully completed, APD is now embarking on Phase III which includes the purchase of additional HVP cameras and related hardware, software, services, maintenance, and post-warranty support. This maturity phase will also include enhancement of wired and wireless network capacity and security to ensure continued, uninterrupted operational resilience.
The award-winning, cloud-based Hitachi Visualization Suite aggregates data into a common, live operating picture, providing full situational awareness to support incident management and investigations for the APD and many other public safety officials.
The rumors are true. Adopting a cloud infrastructure can save your organization money in the long run, but it is important to choose the right cloud solution for your enterprise needs in order to maximize resources with an investment that aligns with your budget. Unfortunately, it’s the leg work that goes into choosing the right cloud solution as well as the investment that still has some leaders asking, “Do we really need to be on the cloud?”
In 2017, that’s a fairly easy question for us to answer. If your organization—and more specifically your IT department—is being tasked with getting better results while using fewer resources, a cloud solution will get you there. It will transform how your team delivers IT services which will give your organization a competitive advantage. The key benefits of the cloud include scalability, instant provisioning, virtualized resources, and the ability to expand the server base quickly. Partnering with a technology solutions provider who can walk you through the options will also give your team the initial boost needed to choose the right cloud and get it implemented rather than tasking them with even more work. Until then, here is some information to get you up to speed on the various cloud solutions and how they’re being used.
A public cloud is based on the standard cloud computing model where a cloud service provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to organizations without any responsibilities to manage or maintain the data centers. Public clouds tend to be more popular with companies who are looking for an option with limited lead time. A drawback of public clouds can be that some organizations view them as being less secure although security breaches of public clouds are uncommon. Although organizations do not manage their data on public clouds, their data remains segregated from others.
A private cloud is similar to a public cloud in that it is still scalable and offers self-service. The difference is a private cloud is used only by a single organization so the hardware, storage, and network can be set up to meet the desired level of security and compliance needs. This solution precludes pay-as-you-go and can be more costly since your organization is the sole user of this private cloud and it’s components, but it is often favored by mid- to large-sized enterprises for the purpose of control.
A hybrid cloud solution includes a mix of private and public cloud services, and is often preferred by companies that wish to take advantage of the benefits afforded by both cloud options. A hybrid cloud also uses an encrypted connection to allow the flow of data between the two cloud environments. It is good a solution for keeping costs at a minimum while still providing secure and controlled data storage environments that meet compliance needs.
As enterprises seek efficiencies to better serve customers, the focus on cloud computing will only intensify. IDC predicts, “more than 80% of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures in 2017.”
Choosing the Right Enterprise Cloud Solution
While there are many benefits to cloud infrastructure, it’s important to ensure your company has the proper time, resources, and staff to make the transition effectively or it could suffer undue expense. That’s why to ensure your success you need to rely on proven cloud technology and infrastructure solutions from an industry leader such as Hitachi Data Systems. As one of their cloud service providers, we will be able to customize a cloud infrastructure as unique as your organization.
If the predictions come true, 2017 will be a groundbreaking year for organizations to accelerate cloud adoption and enhancements. In the IT Trends Report 2016: The Hybrid IT Evolution, 92% of IT professionals surveyed confirmed that adopting cloud technologies was critical to their organization’s long-term success. Since so many businesses are weighing the pros and cons of various forms of cloud technology, now’s a great time to discuss what a hybrid cloud solution is and how it might benefit your organization.
What is a Hybrid Cloud?
As enterprises seek efficiencies to better serve customers, the focus on cloud computing will only intensify. IDC predicts, “more than 80% of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures by 2017.”
A hybrid cloud uses an encrypted connection to allow data to flow between public and private clouds. Although an admittedly simplistic definition, a hybrid cloud solution gives the benefits of private and public clouds to organizations. Both clouds remain independent, but they share one or more touchpoints so data intermingles and more than one cloud may be accessed to perform a task. A hybrid cloud solution is not the same as a multi-cloud setup where different clouds are called upon to do separate tasks and the individual clouds are set up to take advantage of the unique benefits they provide for each task.
Benefits of a Hybrid Cloud
Organizations find that a hybrid cloud approach provides the power, scalability, and lower cost of a public cloud with the security of a private cloud. Some organizations transition to a hybrid cloud as an interim step as they migrate from on-site data storage and processing to 100% public cloud. Others choose to go the hybrid cloud route for the flexibility it provides to scale with the public cloud solution while maintaining integrity and security with the private component. In addition to flexibility to adapt to change, here are other benefits of a hybrid cloud solution:
Setting Up a Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure
While there are many benefits to implementing a hybrid cloud infrastructure, your organization must ensure it has the proper time, resources, and staff to make the transition effectively or it could suffer undue expense. Here are a few elements that must be discussed and planned for when implementing a hybrid cloud infrastructure:
Proven Cloud Technology
There’s no doubt that although a hybrid cloud solution offers many benefits to your organization, you could invest in product that doesn’t address your organization’s needs adequately. To ensure success you need to rely on proven cloud technology and infrastructure solutions from an industry leader such as Hitachi Data Systems.
Our team at ConRes will assess, architect, and deploy the cloud solution that best fits your organization’s business objectives. Please call ConRes at 800-937-4688 to learn how our 50 years of experience will benefit your team.
Until a few years ago, IT infrastructures would respond to new challenges by increasing budgets, staff, equipment, and outside services. This was the way IT projects were handled for more than two decades! For the short term this solution worked, but in the long term it’s creating more problems with various disparate IT systems, vendors, and tools. As new and more demands come in from users, IT teams are increasingly falling behind as they try to respond to requests and they are slower to deploy new projects because of the inflexibility of their IT infrastructure.
CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE BRINGS IT ALL TOGETHER
Converged infrastructure (CI) operates by grouping multiple IT components into a single, integrated package. Components of a CI may include servers, data storage devices, networking equipment and software for IT infrastructure management, automation and orchestration.
We don’t have to be reminded that IT budgets continue to shrink even though workloads and expectations are growing exponentially, and just thinking about how much a new solution would cost can be overwhelming. Who wants to spend even more money? The good news is that the initial costs associated with a CI solution can be recouped later in the operational and management costs you’ll save by automating management, and centralizing and consolidating the overall infrastructure.
Your organization needs a CI solution if your goals include:
Shopping for a CI solution is also daunting if you are unsure where to start, so we’re providing five requirements that are must-haves for any essential converged system solution:
REAPING THE BENEFITS OF A CI SOLUTION
The future of IT infrastructure is becoming increasingly more reliant on the cloud; however, many large organizations need the security of a private-cloud. CI can be a good solution for those looking for a private cloud system or something similar. It’s also important for an organization to look forward and anticipate if a CI solution will meet their future needs as well.
With the adoption of a CI solution, your organization can expect:
SAY NO TO THE SILO! THE TIME FOR CONVERGENCE IS NOW!
If you’re ready to meet and exceed your business’ demands, it’s time to start looking at a CI solution that will increase efficiency, reliability, and agility of your IT systems. The Hitachi Unified Compute Platform (UCP) solution family features prebuilt, certified solutions that can accelerate the applications you use the most, and help you realize both business efficiency and business value. UCP is:
For more information, check out Hitachi’s whitepaper, The Future of Convergence.
Over the last year, we saw a significant pivot by global businesses to not only see data as an important business driver, but to inform the goals and actions of a variety of departments to achieve business objectives. Forging a data strategy for a company is an imperative step to not only drive decisions, but to also attract highly skilled tech talent who expect that any credible organization would have a data strategy in place.
How to Develop a Successful Data Strategy
A robust, well-thought, and communicated data strategy is key to achieving a competitive advantage in business. In the past, information technology provided a critical service—keeping data flowing across the organization. Today, data is a product and if used strategically it creates value. A company’s data strategy is a road map on how best to use the resource of data to drive decisions, create new products, manage supply chains, increase revenue, learn about customers, and optimize resources. Every business can leverage data as a corporate asset. Data strategies must not only consider today’s capabilities, but need to flex as fast as business changes.
An essential component of a data strategy is to define what data is not important to analyze. Companies are inundated with data from a lot of sources. A solid data strategy helps to focus data analysis efforts on items that will have a direct business impact for a company’s unique business model. Additionally, a data strategy can prevent costly mistakes with legal/PR, technical and staffing issues.
Numerous case studies across all industries verify the power of data to drive success. When online provider of contacts, 1-800-CONTACTS.com, supplied its call center employees and executives with a dashboard to show “near-real-time data about sales,” the company experienced $55,000 in additional revenue per month. The directive to extract sales data real time and share it with call center employees is a good example of the kind of actions that would be defined in a robust data strategy.
Here are the steps to create a successful data strategy:
Be specific about the business goals you plan to achieve. Build a data strategy that supports these business goals.
If you are going to achieve your business goals, what specific actions will you need to take?
What data could help you complete your tactics?
Of the multitude of projects your organization could focus on, determine which projects you will commit to.
Most data strategies extend for a 12- to 18-month period; however, they are always evolving to adapt to changing circumstances.
Essential Stakeholders for the Data Strategy
While many organizations now see the importance of adding a data scientist to their team, it’s not their role to create a data strategy. Data scientists execute and manage the data strategy, but they collaborate with stakeholders across the organization to create it. In fact, for a data strategy to succeed, it is imperative to have buy-in from the C-suite and input from all departments.
Data Teams Require the Right Tools to Succeed
As more organizations shift their perceptions and actions to treat data as a resource, their data teams will require the right tools to process, store, and analyze the data. A comprehensive on-site to cloud solution is critical for the protection and efficient storage of your company data to reduce risk and speed up innovation. Tools such as the Hybrid Cloud model from Hitachi offer a predictable user experience and customizable and comprehensive solution for your team. In addition, Hitachi’s Hyper Scale-Out Platform (HSP) can help you gain faster business insights with a converged compute, storage, and virtualization platform. It will also reduce your operating costs and increase performance with a scalable infrastructure ready for growth.