Federal agencies routinely pass up opportunities to improve information technology performance, and save money at the same time, by failing to seek vendor competition in the procurement process, according to a recent survey.Federal IT professionals revealed that their agencies could save as much as US$15.8 billion per year -- about 20 percent of annual IT spending -- by being more aggressive in utilizing multiple vendors in a more competitive environment for infrastructure projects.The survey of 208 federal specialists was conducted in January by MeriTalk, an online community of public and private sector IT professionals.Reporting on the survey in early March, MeriTalk said that 95 percent of respondents believe there are benefits to using more than one vendor in an area of their infrastructure, and 44 percent believe that adding a vendor drives down acquisition costs. However, five percent of agencies reported that their entire IT infrastructure uses just one vendor, and another 23 … [Read more...] about GOVERNMENT IT REPORT Fed IT Funds Circle Drain Due to Poor Procurement Policies
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Data Analysis IBM and Jupiter Medical Center announced that Jupiter Medical Center will adopt Watson for Oncology trained by Memorial Sloan Kettering, a cognitive computing platform to provide insights to physicians to help them deliver personalized, evidence-based cancer treatment. Jupiter is the first U.S. community hospital to adopt Watson for Oncology, which will go live at the facility in the beginning of March.In the U.S., there will be an estimated 1.7M new cancer cases this year, with 125,000 in Florida alone(1). As healthcare providers and systems seek to enable data-driven, evidence-based cancer care, an explosion of medical information has created both challenges and opportunities to improve quality care. Currently, approximately 50,000 oncology research papers are published annually,(2) and by 2020 medical information is projected to double every 73 days(3), outpacing the ability of humans to keep up with the proliferation of medical knowledge.Watson for Oncology … [Read more...] about Jupiter Medical Center Implements Watson for Oncology to Make Data-Driven Cancer Treatment Decisions
Supercomputers The Cathedral of Learning, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is the centerpiece of the University of Pittsburgh's main campus. As a center of learning, the University of Pittsburgh empowers researchers who are on the forefront of scientific innovation. Enabling their discoveries requires the assistance of advanced computing power. The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Research Computing (CRC) has the responsibility of supporting these researchers, and their cutting-edge endeavors, with a high-performance computing (HPC) system optimized to enable those projects.As the second early adopter of the newest Intel Xeon Scalable processors, CRC researchers have experienced up to three times the performance of the previous system. This increase in performance makes it possible to accommodate more research projects and to allow a broad range of existing engineering, biomedical, scientific, and other researchers to expand their work to the next level of … [Read more...] about University of Pittsburgh Architects a Versatile HPC System to Facilitate Breakthrough Research
The U.S. Department of Transportation not only wants to construct highways, subways, railroads and airports for the traveling public, but also wants to build bridges to information technology vendors and providers.The department has just launched a program to engage vendors and help educate DoT employees about available information technologies. Dubbed the "Technology Evaluation & Learning Series," or TELS, the program features informational meetings between IT vendors and DoT staff. The program embraces all vendors with IT products or services that could be of interest to the department, not just vendors that may already be under contract with DoT."DoT plans to offer briefings on a monthly basis to identify new and emerging technologies, update skill sets in the IT workforce, and encourage identification and implementation of new ideas," a DoT spokesperson said in a statement provided to the E-Commerce Times by public affairs staff member Olivia Alair. "We are hoping employees … [Read more...] about GOVERNMENT IT REPORT DoT to IT Providers: Let’s Talk
The big question as we move through 2010 may be, "What does the future hold?" But really, the past year will give us a clearer glimpse into the future than any crystal ball possibly could. 2010 is the year of the customer.December 31st, 2009, marked the end of one of the toughest years companies have faced in decades, both in terms of the challenges of a major economic downturn, and a major shift in how companies interact with their customers -- the customers who are increasingly more demanding and can change providers easily.Today's customers know what they want, when and how they want it. What they don't want is to be "managed." And while the economic crisis has made businesses focus even more on the bottom line, cost cutting cannot be done at the expense of customer satisfaction.Even in terms of pure numbers, it is considerably more expensive to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. Forward-thinking companies are positioning themselves for quick performance … [Read more...] about ANALYSIS The Year of the Customer: Balancing Service and Efficiency
This may come as news to owners of 4G smartphones, but the Internet apparently isn't fast enough and needs to speed up. Google and Microsoft have submitted separate proposals to accomplish this.Google's SPDY (pronounced "speedy") proposal defines and implements an application-layer protocol that reduces latency and seeks to replace parts of the HTTP protocol. It is already being used by Mozilla and Twitter.Microsoft submitted its HTTP Speed+Mobility proposal to the IETF earlier this week, Sandeep Singhal, group program manager of Windows Core Networking, told TechNewsWorld."SPDY did not address battery life in mobile devices or the specific needs of mobile applications," Singhal pointed out. "The HTTP Speed+Mobility proposal balances both speed and power/battery requirements. In addition, HTTP Speed+Mobility ensures compatibility with existing Web infrastructure, enabling broader deployment across all types of networks."SPDY adds a session layer on top of SSL that allows for multiple … [Read more...] about Microsoft, Google Race to Speed Up the Web
The burgeoning market for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is not only affecting consumer use of information technology, but also having an impact on the private sector workplace, as employers see the value of mobile communications.The mobile IT market is clearly hot. Worldwide shipments of major brand smartphones increased by 50 percent to 152.3 million units in the first quarter of 2012 versus the same period last year, according to IDC.Global tablet sales at 17.4 million in the first quarter of 2011 represented a "a robust year-over-year growth rate of 120 percent," up from 7.9 million units in the first quarter of 2011, the firm said.While the pace of tablet sales cooled a bit from the last quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012, the Consumer Electronics Association reported that smartphones and tablets will remain high-demand items in U.S. households this year.Federal workers, like everyone else, have embraced the use of mobile devices. As a result, mobile … [Read more...] about GOVERNMENT IT REPORT Securing Federal Employees’ Mobile Devices: Big Opportunities, Big Challenges
The water industry has historically been risk averse to implementing new technologies and altering existing processes. In order to address the challenges facing the water industry, it is important for utilities to actively seek new technologies and approaches that can help improve their treatment processes and save costs. The Water Environment & Reuse Foundation (WE&RF) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) created the Leaders Innovation Forum for Technology (LIFT) to bring new water technology to the field quickly and efficiently. Playing on organizational strengths, WE&RF and WEF each take the lead in managing LIFT’s different components.LIFT is an initiative to help bring innovation into practice and facilitate early adoption of technologies that will help utilities improve their performance and reduce costs. LIFT provides a network of people and resources to help utilities identify new technologies, communicate with peer utilities, and collaborate on … [Read more...] about New Water Technologies Get “LIFT” to Market Thanks to Innovation Initiative
Most CIOs at some point have asked: Should I outsource this IT project? The answer can be surprisingly complex, depending on the reasons for considering such a move.According to Gartner principal analyst Bruce Caldwell, savings achieved through outsourcing can be significant -- in the 20 to 30 percent range. After all, outsourcing companies must perform tasks quickly and efficiently to make a profit. A corporation, on the other hand, is not a profit center, nor is it necessarily driven to quickness or efficiency.However, outsourcing is not just about money. Greg Secord, a vice president at outsourcing heavyweight ADP, said that although most companies save 10 percent or more in their outsourcing endeavors, they also are seeking access to best practices."Outsourcing purely for financial reasons is not the best bet," Secord told the E-Commerce Times. "You need to be comfortable in yourability to develop a relationship with an outsourcing firm, and trust that their best-practice … [Read more...] about E-BUSINESS SPECIAL REPORT To Outsource or Not To Outsource?
The stock market and the dot-com world may be down for now, but that does not mean launching a new e-business is out of the question.True, the startup funding spigots have slowed to a drip, and entrepreneurs looking to strike it rich quick with little risk to their own wallets can forget about it. But experts say these factors did not stop business go-getters in previous eras -- long before the Internet boom and bust -- who truly believed they had something to offer the world.New York University business professor Christopher Tucci pointed out that many of today's technology and commerce giants began life at a time when startup capital was not flowing freely, yet they succeeded in getting off the ground and eventually thriving.The overall business climate should dictate the fate of a truly good business plan -- online or offline. "If I had a great idea, I would not wait for the business cycle to turn around," Tucci told the E-Commerce Times. "I would do what I needed to make it … [Read more...] about E-BUSINESS SPECIAL REPORT Is Now a Good Time To Start an E-Business?