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Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

 

Implementing an effective disaster recovery plan is predominantly about defining and introducing suitable processes and procedures, but technology plays a key role in enabling execution.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

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Here’s a quick guide to the technologies that can help you establish DR provision – with links to in-depth SearchStorage.co.uk content on each.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Archiving

What it does: Archiving tools store data no longer used in day-to-day activity but which must be retained, in some cases for decades and often to meet compliance rules. Archiving tools monitor data, migrate it to appropriate media (cheaper disk or tape) and in some cases maintain checks and controls on the integrity of the data for compliance reasons. Email is a major application covered by archiving tools and services.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

More on disaster recovery
Disaster recovery for data storage environments

Data asset inventory key to disaster recovery planning and design

Disaster recovery for virtual servers

DR role: Archiving is a complement to backup rather than a replacement for it. Backups of the archive are necessary, but archiving tools will allow restoration of the items in the archive, in some cases quite rapidly. By first restoring shells of files that can be accessed by users, the archiving tool prioritises the restoration of the full files that correspond to those users have requested.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Key vendors: Archiving software: Autonomy Zantaz, EMC, Mimosa Systems, Mimecast, Quest, Symantec. Hardware: EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems

Backup

What it does: Backup tools copy data held in files or databases to secondary storage media. The aim is to ensure swift access to data to minimise downtime in case of an equipment failure or other disaster. Unlike with archiving software, it is often impossible to search easily for individual files and restore them from backups.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

DR role: Copies of backups are recovered from storage media in the event of a disaster and can be restored to file and database systems running at a secondary DR site. The downside is that if disaster strikes, any data generated since the last backup took place will be lost. Backup activity is still the foundation of many DR plans.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Key vendors: Acronis, Asigra, BakBone, Commvault, Computer Associates, EMC, HP, IBM Tivoli, Symantec.

Continuous data protection

What it does: Continuous data protection (CDP) copies data from a source to a target system on an ongoing basis every time a change is made.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

DR role: Employing CDP enables restoration of a system to the point where the last modification to data occurred, reducing the recovery point objective to almost zero. Because CDP keeps a record of every transaction that takes place, the most recent clean copy of a document can be recovered quickly if disaster strikes. The downside is that, because copies are not taken at regular timed intervals, it can be difficult to establish when the last one was taken without suitable management tools in place to help.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Key vendors: Atempo, Computer Associates, Double-Take, EMC, FalconStor, IBM Tivoli, InMage, Microsoft, Symantec

Snapshots

What it does: Snapshots are copies of data made from a source to a target system at pre-determined set points, whether that is every 10 minutes, once an hour or three times a day. Depending on their RPOs, many organisations substitute frequent snapshots for CDP.

DR role: Snapshotting enables the restoration of a system to the point where the last copy took place. The downside is that if disaster hits any data that was generated since the last snapshot occurred will be lost, as it would be with other traditional forms of backup.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Key vendors: All major storage vendors

Tape

What it does: For years, people have been backing up data by copying contents from their storage devices to a tape cartridge that can be stored offsite. If there is a backup disk failure or data gets deleted, missing data can be copied back from tape onto live storage. Tape backup has been losing ground to disk backup, which is faster and easier to restore from.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

DR role: Although its role in backup has been diminished in favor of disk, tape still has a firm presence in DR. Backup to tape enables storage professionals to periodically copy data from a primary storage device to a tape library so it can be recovered if a failure occurs. Backup to tape is quick if optimized, and can be undertaken at the primary data centre with the media moved to a secure secondary site.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Key vendors: HP, IBM, Overland Storage, Quantum, SpectraLogic, Sun Microsystems, Tandberg Data

Disk

What it does: Disk-to-disk backup involves backing up data on a computer’s hard disk to another disk in a storage array.

DR role: Backing up to disk is usually faster than tape backups because it’s difficult to optimise tape streaming. Where disk-based backup does win hands down, however, is in restoration of files. It is easier and quicker to restore specific files from disk than tape in the event of a disaster. If network-connected, disk also removes the need to move multiple backup tapes back and forth between primary and secondary sites for recovery purposes.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Virtual tape library

What it does: A virtual tape library (VTL) is a staging device comprised of disk that mimics a tape library. Data backed up to a VTL can be replicated to other VTLs at a remote site or moved off to real tape for DR.

DR role: Employing a VTL lets organizations maintain the same backup and restore procedures for disk that they would employ for tape. Because VTL is disk-based, backup and recovery is quicker than with tape. One VTL can also replicate to other VTLs at a secondary location on a one-to-one or one-to-many basis, and users can decide which workloads require such site-to-site replication. This removes the need to move multiple backup tapes between primary and secondary sites for recovery purposes.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Key vendors: EMC, Data Domain, Hewlett-Packard, NetApp, Overland Storage, Quantum, Sepaton, Sun Microsystems, Tandberg Data

Data deduplication

What it does: Data deduplication reduces the amount of data backed up by eliminating duplicate files and blocks. This reduces the amount of storage capacity required for backup by between 2:1 and 40:1 typically, depending on the type of data and frequency of backups.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The process works by ensuring that only the first unique instance of a piece of data is retained. Subsequent iterations of the data are replaced with a pointer to the original.

DR role: The technology can – depending on whether it is the inline or post-process flavour of deduplication – reduce the amount of data that has to be sent over a WAN, optimising bandwidth use when undertaking remote backup, replication and disaster recovery. Careful attention must be paid to restoration processes, as data must be rebuilt from its deduplicated state.

Key vendors: Copan, EMC, Data Domain, NEC, FalconStor, NetApp, Overland Storage, Quantum, Symantec.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Failover

What it does: Failover refers to a way of configuring servers to enable redundant or standby secondary devices to take over from primary ones in the case of failure, abnormal termination of activity or scheduled downtime. This process can be undertaken manually or automatically depending on the setup.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

DR role: A secondary site takes over critical operations after failover occurs, allowing the network to continue functioning following a disaster. When the primary server or site is ready to resume, operations fail back to the original location

Could your company survive a massive data breach? If not, it’s time to rethink your data backup and recovery processes.
Is your business adequately backing up all of your important data? If you’re like many businesses, the answer is no. According to the National Archives and Records Administration, more than 90% of companies that experience more than 7 days of data downtime go out of business within a year. This staggering statistic points to the massive importance of keeping all of your data secure and safe.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Importance of a backup and recovery plan for your business

Below are a few reasons why having a backup and recovery plan in place for your business can be extremely beneficial.

Reduces impact of cyber attacks – With more and more data making its way to the cloud, cyber attackers are constantly looking for ways to gain access to your data. Small businesses can be extremely vulnerable to these types of attacks, especially if you don’t have a backup and recovery plan in place.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay
Protect data from natural disasters – We live in a world where hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and other natural disasters can happen in an instant. If you experience some type of natural disaster, having your data safe and secure is extremely important.
Your employees may make mistakes – Studies show that the majority of data loss occurs due to mistakes or dishonesty on the part of employees. One poor choice by an employee can have detrimental effects on your entire business. With a backup and recovery plan in place, you’ll ensure your data is secure, even in the event that data is lost due to employee mistakes, or malicious behavior.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay
New technologies in the backup and recovery industry

While the backup and recovery industry is constantly evolving, below are just a few of the technologies that should be welcomed by any business looking to ensure their data is properly protected in the event of a disaster.

Storage Software – IBM is solving data backup and availability issues today with IBM Spectrum Protect Plus. This new storage software can be set-up in minutes to protect data in cloud, virtualized, and data center environments. Read press release at: https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/53024.wss
Virtualization – Thanks to virtualization, businesses can quickly and easily provision entire servers located in the cloud. IT admins can spin up a new server within seconds, without having to invest in significant hardware or networking resources. This allows organizations to protect their data, and in the event of any type of disaster, quickly be able to roll out new servers in record time.
Cloud – While many organizations have internal backup and recovery procedures, storing data securely in the cloud is another way to ensure your data is protected. Today’s cloud computing platforms offer enterprise level security as well as distributed data centers to ensure your data is secure at all times.
Data replication – Today’s businesses need lightning fast access to existing data as well as data that is backed up to be used in the event of a disaster. Data replication for your backup and recovery needs can ensure that your data is quickly available in the event of data loss.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay
Does your business have a proper backup and recovery process in place?

If you’re unsure of whether your current backup and recovery process is adequate for your growing business, the experts at Champion Solutions Group can help you determine whether an in-house or cloud based solution is best for your organization. Champion is a Platinum IBM Business Partner and can help with all of your IBM storage and storage software needs.

Data is important for business. No matter what.
Benjamin Franklin said: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” And what is certain in the ‘world’ of an organization?

Let’s try this: there are no irreplaceable people (if you know where to look for them). Secondly, we should not trust in (the reliability of) technology. Why? Because these are only resources that are to help us implement our plan within the organization. Imagine now that all your employees are leaving in one day and you did not expect that completely. In what time will your company regain operational efficiency? Similarly, we can look at a sudden event of a company’s IT infrastructure disaster. What if you suddenly lose all of your data? People can be replaced, but lost data cannot. The fact is that the second scenario happens more often than it seems.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Disaster Recovery Plan
A vast majority of small businesses (up to 250 employees) do not have any disaster recovery plan. The reasons are the lack of awareness of how many factors can cause disaster. Furthermore, there is the (false) conviction that the costs associated with the implementation of such solutions are too big in comparison with the size of the organization (or amount of data). Of course, proven solutions that guarantee business continuity in the event of a disaster are not available for free. However, their cost depends on the size of the organization resources and, in practice, may be relatively small. Especially in the context of the benefits they bring to the company.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

We need to make it clear that the scale of dangers to which businesses are exposed in the context of business continuity will grow in 2019. We can find a lot of information about the current or most common reasons for disaster. But a disaster event, in case of this article, applies rather to the gaps that have arisen due to new technologies, which we need to closely monitor and create solutions that will also secure these areas in the future.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Data protection – 5 problems of the future (but the future… is now)

Unpredictability of Blockchain
there are a few things that need to be highlighted. For an average user, or even for companies, blockchain is still too complicated. There is no “normalized” way of how we should use it, mainly beyond the cryptocurrency context. But indeed, it is the financial sector that has the biggest interest in developing understandable tools to use it for the transfer of funds (goods). It is the matter of the nearest future that such a transparent interface will be created and – what is more important – we will invent brand new blockchain applications. Of course, regarding data transparency that blockchain introduces, we can see a good answer for the GDPR fuss. Additionally, blockchain will play a dominant role in the field of identity verification and privacy protection. The problem that arises here is to what extent it will be possible to protect this data.

Data overload
The basis of whether we are talking about Big Data, Machine Learning or AI is actually DATA. These are the elements that play a key role in the so-called digital transformation. We are perfectly aware that it is usually not intuition or a leader’s insight that leads a company to a specific goal, but there is data to be developed accordingly.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

“As recent data has shown, we have created 90% of the world’s data in the past year. Research also shows that we are only using 1% of the data effectively” – said Daniel Newman, CEO of Broadsuite Media Group and principal analyst of Futurum Research.

Therefore, access to data, its proper storage and processing, control and protection will remain an invariably fresh topic in the market. Not only are there no programs available that would extract information of interest to us, but the data itself will become the company’s most valuable resource. Because data overload is just a matter of time…Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Multi-cloud complexity
The truth is, we can no longer follow one path. We need to mix solutions to improve and develop our companies. It is not about storage any more. It is about VM, app deployment, containers, security, EFSS, hybrid-cloud solutions and so on… The number of organizations that use only one cloud shrinks very quickly. In larger companies, four cloud environments are used on average.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

“Throughout the industry today, multi-cloud appears to be the dominant infrastructure strategy model: 8 out of 10 companies use hybrid cloud – a combination of private and public cloud environments. 71% of companies use more than three different clouds. In fact, if you count shadow IT or department-level cloud usage, then the average company uses five different clouds” – said Richard Wallace, Business Development Consultant Data Protection and Access

What you need is an easy way to manage clouds and local data centers that are stored, processed and shared there. From a strategic point of view, it leads to a situation in which it will be easy for us to run a local work environment in the cloud or on an external server. This is a necessary step toward business continuity in the event of a disaster. So we should rather consider multi-cloud as a strategy than a solution.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The Industry 4.0 revolution
Maybe “industry” is not the best word here because solutions that are part of this group appear in the context of smart houses, smart cities, autonomous vehicles… the scale is huge. What solutions are we talking about that allow you to create a connected network? Big Data, IoT, Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, System Integration, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Robots… In this context, many innovative IT departments are connected and able to communicate with one another. In these operations, huge amounts of data are generated. Processing data in the cloud is definitely not enough. What counts here is time. That is why new solutions like edge computing and fog networking are emerging. Real-time data processing is key. Therefore, systems that can protect these huge amounts of data are crucial not only for the organization. Actually, human life depends on them.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Quantum computers attacks
Ultra-fast computers count not only when searching for and processing information. With some anxiety, we look towards artificial intelligence. But this is a different topic. Another important context is the fact that we cannot predict how the use of this technology will affect the security of our data. It is possible that common encryption methods will not stand a chance against quantum computers.

Conclusion

With the development of IT infrastructures and the sophistication and complexity of technology, generating huge amounts of data on tens, hundreds and thousands of devices working for a given organization – the case looks serious. In addition, every developing business begins to use new tools over time to influence the effectiveness of its operations.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

First of all, we are looking for solutions that will allow us to control this scattered yet connected areas. The administration of devices, processes and data access is very important. Its importance will only grow. That is why we have to remember about the Disaster Recovery Plan as an important part of the company’s strategy.
Secondly, we want to do it in a safe way and be sure that we will not lose data in the event of any error, be it human or software. Therefore, we must have a system that allows us to secure data. Consequently, we have to double the security.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay
Thirdly, we want to be sure that when problems arise, we are able to immediately continue our work in a ‘mirror’ environment or return in a fraction of a second to an environment snapshot created some time ago. In this example, it is worth emphasizing that we use many services and a lot of applications in which we store our data. In situations where time matters, unification combined with the versatility of tools play an important role.
There are many areas that draw our attention. From the above examples, we can see that there are also areas where we can easily secure our data either on endpoints and VMs or in clouds, and easily recover them in case of a disaster. However, we assume that clients will look for ready-made solutions soon that will cover new areas and, in return, will leave them with peace and confidence that everything is going in the right direction.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

For most business executives, finding a way to keep their businesses running even in the event of a disaster cannot be overstated. In fact, disaster recovery and business continuity are fast becoming the most important IT conversation that business leaders are having to discuss with their staff as well as train them on the protocols to follow when a disaster strikes. On average, business organizations take 1-9 hours to recover from a disaster. Each hour costs an average of $700,000.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

In any disaster recovery procedure, the first few minutes and hours after a business system crashes are extremely crucial. For most enterprises, the rest of the recovery process is determined by how well events unfold in the period immediately after the disaster hits the business process.

Failure to be adequately prepared for a disaster has the potential to wreak havoc on the reputation and financial standing of the organization. What’s more, a poorly managed disaster can scare customers away. A Business Continuity Institute poll conducted by risk experts found that 85% of the people who took part in the survey had concerns that their businesses were at risk of a cyber-attack within a period of 12 months from the time the poll was conducted.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The apparent significance of disaster recovery and business continuity is what is informing the IT industry on the need to keep an eye on this industry, monitoring changes and emerging trends that will dictate how companies conduct business in the days, weeks and months ahead. The following are some of the emerging trends in the disaster recovery industry that business executives should be keeping an eye on.

Manual workarounds no longer viable
A few years ago, a good number of business organizations had several workarounds they relied on in their disaster recovery plans. Fast forward to today and this option is no longer available. For business processes to execute, IT services and data are needed. Creating hard copies of operational information is now almost always untenable. This is partly because of the high volume of the information that would be needed to be presented in hard copies.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

What’s more, the majority of businesses have no human resources necessary to perform these manual tasks. As the business process has achieved efficiency through technology, companies have replaced their staff with automated systems, making manual workarounds practically a nonexistent concept within their business processes.

Shorter Recovery Point and Recovery Time Objectives (RPO/RTO)
Because businesses no longer have manual workarounds, practically every operational functionality comes to a stop the moment the systems become unavailable and only resume when the systems become available again. Additionally, businesses today heavily rely on data which results in a significant shortening of Recovery Point Objectives requirements. Increasingly, the ways of recreating lost data are almost nonexistent. This is especially so for customers and the online service type of functions.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Data replication
As the need for RPO and RTO requirements decreases, data replication becomes more viable. And given that this trend is expected to continue, data replication for backup/restore as well as highly available solutions will soon become the most feasible solution. Unless only for archival purposes, a negligible number of business organizations use tape. Data replication is not only more efficient, it is also extremely pocket-friendly.

Using the cloud for disaster recovery
While some industries like the financial sector have been strikingly slow in their migration to the cloud, other industries have jumped at the opportunity to streamline their business processes through this technology. Many experts had predicted that by now, almost everyone doing business in the cyberspace will have embraced the use of the cloud for disaster recovery.

This is yet to happen, but the number of businesses using the cloud to stay afloat in the event of a disaster is increasing steadily. As organizations hold onto their physical infrastructure and legacy systems, the viability of cloud as a solution for disaster recovery remains a complex proposition. Those businesses using the cloud for this see it, not as a replacement for existing data centers, but as part of their overall disaster recovery strategy.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Alternate colocation/data center
Any disaster recovery solution would be incomplete if it failed to incorporate an alternate co-location or data center. All the same, unlike in the past where the alternate data center made up the entire recovery solution, the emerging trend is the waning need for this. In its place, third party SaaS and cloud solutions are taking the place of alternate co-locations thereby remarkably reducing the data center’s capacity requirement. Industry watchers say they do not expect that the alternate co-locations would be removed from disaster recovery plans in totality, but they definitely expect their cost and size to come down decisively.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Increasing reliance on third party disaster recovery solution providers
Unsurprisingly, companies are handing over control of non-critical business processes to third party providers, including email, CRM and other Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, and outsourced solutions like customer service and payroll. Another area where business organizations are heavily depending on third parties is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) where they provide such services as web hosting, production needs, and development environments/platforms.

By using these third-party providers, companies can noticeably reduce their internal disaster recovery needs. Nevertheless, business executives must be careful not to turn over critical business processes to third party providers, a move that could jeopardize the entire organization, especially if something went terribly wrong.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Virtualization
Virtualization has been a major trend in the disaster recovery space and has excited many in the industry. Many industry watchers see it as one of the greatest improvements of the business continuity niche. Therefore, it is not a wonder that this technology has found its use in most of the computing environments across a wide array of business organizations.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Virtualization reduces the footprint of a company’s data center while availing and increased number of recovery options compared to the options available internally. By using virtualization, businesses are lessening the need to use lengthy recovery protocols. Furthermore, virtualization dramatically shortens recovery times while establishing repeated and successful recoveries.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

In the last 10 years, cloud technology has grown from a simple means of storing and retrieving data to a means of running and managing your business and collaborating with suppliers, customers and other partners. If we examine the emerging trends in cloud technology, we see more people using this technology in more ways than ever before.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Cloud Storage

The biggest emerging trend in cloud technology is, unsurprisingly, exponential growth of cloud servers. The more businesses and corporations that use cloud technology, the greater the need for more cloud servers and services on the net. Traditional storage can be quite expensive compared to off-site storage on the cloud, but many companies were, in the early days, not ready to jump on this alternative method of storage because of issues with security, ownership and recoverability. These issues are being addressed today with emerging technologies, which means more companies and corporations are considering cloud technology for their storage than ever before.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Cloud Backup and Retrieval

Another emerging trend in cloud technology is the area of backup and retrieval. Previously, having a good backup system in place meant separate backup servers which automatically backed up data at set intervals, writing this data to hard media (such as disk drives, tape drives, etc.). Often businesses used redundant backups for backing up their information, which required even more hardware often costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars. When you factor in the media used to store the backups (depending on how long you want to store your backups) you can see that this practice was quite costly.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Today, more vendors are offering complete backup solutions on the cloud, saving companies hundreds of thousands in hardware, maintenance and other costs. A wide variety of cloud backup solutions are emerging on the internet, from simple redundant file backup to full server image backups. Many vendors today are offering complete disaster recovery solutions for a fraction of the cost of traditional disaster recovery. What this means is that even if a business is hacked and all files, programs, databases, etc. are lost, with today’s emerging cloud technology in disaster recovery, businesses are able to recover most (if not all) of the data lost, quickly and easily.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Direct Backup

In the past, with cloud technology, most businesses would have to store their backups in-house, then transfer their backups to the cloud. This was because of, for the most part, the limited bandwidth available. Today as bandwidth is increasing exponentially the practice of using back-up appliances is quickly becoming redundant. Businesses can now backup their data directly to the cloud without worrying about loss of data with speeds approaching those of LAN networks. There is really no reason to spend thousands of dollars on backup appliances to store data for offloading to the cloud when you can simply backup directly to the cloud in about the same time it would take to store it to a backup appliance and then backup from the appliance to the cloud.

As emerging cloud technologies allow for faster, more secure storage and backup, more businesses are finding that off-premise storage is a good solution to reduce the overhead costs of doing their day to day business. As bandwidth increases, businesses are finding many other solutions on the cloud that were previously only viable with in-house storage.
The potential of emerging cloud technology is virtually limitless so that almost anything you can now do with your in-house server you will be able to accomplish on the cloud both more cheaply and more securely.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Albert Einstein once said: “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” Who can argue with that, especially when it comes to technology? Imagining how technology can fill a void is necessary when it comes to conceiving a new device or system. Perhaps nowhere is there an example of the importance of emerging technology as there is in emergency management. Thousands of people can be impacted by a man-made or natural disaster within seconds, and the availability of tools that can help not only before but also during the response to the devastation can save lives and time.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Emergency Management sought out emerging technologies that will positively impact the field and possibly change how people think tech fits into preparedness, response and recovery.

1. SimulationDeck

Within the last couple of years, social media has become go-to communication tools that the public uses to obtain information. But one of the issues for emergency managers is how an agency can test how it would use social media in an emergency. Tweeting and issuing updates on Facebook — even when preceded and followed by the words “test” or “drill” — would likely confuse people and possibly start rumors, which can be impossible to stop once the incorrect information starts to spread. But emergency management consulting firm Nusura Inc. is seeking to provide a way for agencies to test their social media and public outreach practices through the use of its training tool SimulationDeck.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The secure Web portal replicates online communication tools, including popular social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as agency websites and blogs. Nusura President Jim Chesnutt is using his experiences from being a public information officer — including with FEMA as a deputy public affairs officer for Region VIII — to help people train on disseminating timely, accurate and coordinated public information during emergencies.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Photo courtesy of Nusura

After participating in numerous exercises, Chesnutt observed a pattern: “In the after-action reports for almost every major exercise I worked on, they said that the public information function was not being tested in a realistic way. And it’s true.” The pressure created by mock media and those tasked with testing the public information element didn’t compare to the reality of handling even a small emergency, he added.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Nusura — which is composed of former public information officers from all levels of government — created SimulationDeck to mimic what happens online and in the media during an emergency. The Web portal has nine websites: SimulationBook includes Facebook’s core features; Bleater simulates Twitter; blogging platform Frogger; YouTube lookalike EweTube; agency news; incident information; Exercise Times Daily, a Web-based newspaper that features live reader comments; SimDeck News, a Web-based TV station; and KEXN Radio.

SimulationDeck doesn’t require special software, so it can work on any platform or Internet-connected device. Chesnutt said one person working in the simulation cell during an exercise could act as 10 people. For example, he or she could file a newspaper article, then post on the agency’s website and then act at the governor’s press secretary and announce a surprise press conference. “Things happen instantly, and any simulation player can generate an enormous number of injects, as fast as they can type and hit enter,” he said.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Although the tool hasn’t been on the market for very long, it was used during Vibrant Response 13, a U.S. Army North national-level field training exercise that had about 9,000 service members and civilians from the military, as well as federal and state agencies. Don Manuszewski, chief of public affairs for U.S. Army North, said it’s important to practice all forms of communication and that includes social media as it becomes increasingly popular. “Social media is becoming kind of a way that a large section of the population gets and sends out information, so if we’re not training to understand how it affects us and where it’s going, then we’re doing a disservice to those we’re trying to help,” he said. “We need to make sure we understand the entire information environment from the traditional media to the media that people are using now like social media.”Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

U.S. Army North incorporated social media into previous exercises to varying levels of success. For example, U.S. Army North used milBook, a professional networking site similar to Facebook that was developed by the U.S. Defense Department, during training but it didn’t quite work because the organization was trying to adapt it to meet its needs, instead of vice versa.

Using SimulationDeck during Vibrant Response 13 felt more real than previous attempts at incorporating social media during an exercise, Manuszewski said. “It met our needs much better than anything that we have used in the past.” After the exercise, they worked with Nusura on some features that could improve it. For example, Manuszewski said people on the microblogging site couldn’t track a trending topic. The workaround was to create a page and name it with the topic that staff wanted to track in place of being able to utilize a search feature.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Nusura’s Chesnutt said updates have been made based on user feedback and SimulationDeck also evolves to reflect real-world changes. “It is organic and ever changing just like the Internet,” he said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that 2017 was the most expensive year on record for disasters in the U.S., estimating $306 billion in total damage. The FBI also reported 2017 as having the most incidents and the most people killed in any one year by active shooters.

With this rise in crises across the United States, data and technology have an increasingly important role in improving emergency management departments across the country. Approximately 240 million calls are made to 911 in the United States each year, with at least 80 percent coming from wireless devices, yet many emergency management systems still operate on legacy systems made for wireline phones. As a result, people in need are unable to easily share precise locations or send media messages to responders, making emergency communication and resource coordination more costly and difficult.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

City and national government entities are already making strides in using analytics to improve emergency response operations, from Google’s 911 study in San Francisco to the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) work with FEMA to crowdsource real-time information during emergencies. Yet, emerging technologies present even greater opportunities to make our emergency management systems more intelligent, secure, and effective. While cities have long sought to integrate tech into disaster response, the available technologies and opportunities are constantly evolving. Today, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain offer the potential to generate, transmit and read emergency-related data for better decision-making in crises.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Industry and government leaders today are discussing—and seeing firsthand—how AI can change the way we work, get around, serve residents, and much more. In emergency management, AI can help predict, evaluate, and simulate incidents to improve response times and streamline resource dispatch processes.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The City of Los Angeles, City of San Francisco, and multiple San Mateo County cities are now using the One Concern platform, which employs artificial intelligence through analytical disaster assessment and calculated damage estimates. Specifically, One Concern assigns a “unique, verified ‘digital fingerprint'” to every element in a city, modeling the entire system, and monitoring the impact of each disaster and climate change on a location. The team leverages data on city infrastructure and former disasters to predict the damage when different disasters hit, accomplishing 85 percent accuracy within 15 minutes on a city block-level basis. In Santa Clara County, One Concern worked with Woodside Fire Protection District, Portola Valley, and Woodside to gather jurisdiction-specific critical infrastructure data and model their Seismic Concern product, providing a bigger picture of risks in the area.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

For 911 call evaluation, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) and IBM Watson recently partnered to use speech-to-text analytics software to help agency directors better analyze conversations and compare them to pre-scripted content in real-time. As a result, directors can learn from real-time conversations between callers and dispatchers, and iterate training materials to help improve the performance of 911 staff. The City of Memphis also used Watson Analytics to reveal trends in emergency medical services. The IBM team conducted 80 stakeholder interviews and gathered relevant data from various city departments on the 911 process, including 911 call volume and use of emergency services. IBM helped the different city agencies pool and analyze information to identify challenges and improve joint decision-making and enlisted the help of third parties—such as health insurance companies and health care clinics—for non-emergency calls. Based on the analysis, the city determined that about 64 percent of ambulance callers would be better served by long-term care for chronic conditions rather than emergency room visits, and was thereby able to reduce emergency service costs by $20 million.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The Cincinnati Fire Department has started using a new predictive analytics system to surface recommendations to dispatchers on appropriate responses to emergency calls based on a number of different variables including location, weather, and inputs from similar types of calls. The AI software helps the department prioritize and respond more effectively to the 80,000 requests they receive annually, reportedly improving emergency response times for the department.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

INTERNET OF THINGS (IoT)

IoT refers to a network of physical objects embedded with sensors and software that collect data and communicate with one another. As it relates to emergency management, IoT can be used to enhance data collection from the physical environment and quickly communicate this data to different city departments.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Weather-related disasters such as hurricanes or floods sometimes prevent emergency response teams from reaching certain locations. This obstruction reduces teams’ ability to track damage, notify the public with up-to-date information, and respond in a timely manner. However, if IoT devices were present in these areas, they would be able to more easily broadcast signals and communicate critical data such as temperature, water quality, or smoke. With this data, government can make more informed decision on how to deploy resources during a disaster situation. Today, the Rio de Janeiro City Hall Operations Center uses sensors to collect real-time data about weather, traffic, police, and medical services in the city. In the United States, the city of Houston worked with AT&T after Hurricane Harvey to deploy IoT technology for identifying damage and communicating information.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

From a more proactive standpoint, cities can place IoT on city infrastructure to monitor risk factors and surface data about potential emergencies. For example, The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) uses 270 sensors to measure how fast water is moving across a stream and models what water may do at different touch points. From this, LCRA can proactively manage floods and easily get ahead of water-related disasters in the area.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Cost, security, and interoperability challenges are still barriers to scaling IoT solutions across a city for emergency management. However, the power to share data during emergency situations—as well as a number of other use cases, from monitoring air quality to locating parking spots—make these challenges worth overcoming.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

BLOCKCHAIN

Of these three technologies, blockchain is in the earliest stages of development, but is a tool that some claim will be transformational for how we transact data. Blockchain is a distributed and immutable digital ledger, secured by cryptography, which can be programmed to record a series of transactions. Its most scalable application today is bitcoin, a cryptocurrency and payment system still growing in its use around the world.

The benefit of blockchain in emergency management is that it provides interoperability and transparency. In terms of interoperability, blockchain can be adopted as a universal system across organizations—similar to the internet—and allow multiple parties across that system to coordinate resources in an emergency. In a disaster relief scenario, multiple parties are often contributing resources to aid an affected area. If all parties involved in this scenario were to adopt a blockchain-based shared system of record, they could coordinate more efficient disaster responses, ensuring resources were allocated to the areas where they are needed most. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is now looking to pilot blockchain for the use case of public health data surveillance, where it will collect and communicate data to entities who treat patients in disaster relief scenarios, including local public health agencies, hospitals, and pharmacies.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Regarding transparency in the disaster relief scenario, blockchain could provide an immutable record, accessible by everyone, to illustrate what resources have been dedicated to an area and by whom.

This transparent record—to which anyone could submit an entry—would reduce the possibility of resource diversion and corruption in these types of scenarios.

UNICEF is testing blockchain technology to track the status of international grants in a secure way that is accessible by the public. Along these same lines, FEMA’s Public Assistance program could be another great use case for blockchain, tracking where resources are going after a disaster. Seeing the potential of blockchain, the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate awarded $1.3 million in grants to explore blockchain technology through their Small Business Innovation Research program. Several technical limitations prevent blockchain from scaling across any industry today, but emergency management departments across cities should take the opportunity to learn about the technology and its various applications to plan for future IT systems.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Above all, a city’s ability to collect, analyze and communicate data is critical to effective and efficient emergency management. AI, IoT and blockchain are all technologies that enable more sophisticated data processes and can improve the capacity and efficiency of emergency staff.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Availability of Earth observation (EO) data and dissemination has been revolutionized with technological advancement in computation and use of mobile tools such as phones, tablets and laptops. This is further expanded with availability of affordable data/internet connections which no longer require Ethernet cables to get internet connection. The result is explosion of spatial data on various blogs and personal profiles such as Tweeter, Facebook, Instagram and other internet feeds. This has created explosion of information with a lot of integrity issues on data quality, lack of data source and lack of responsibility and authenticity. The problem is further compounded with advancement in search engines and data harvesting applications which collects similar archived information and makes them available to the user on the internet search engines. There should be a clear link detailing the nature of EO and the kind of relevant information that can be derived from them.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Keywords
earth observation usability disaster management mobile technology
Chapter and author infoShow +
1. Introduction: emerging trends in Earth observation and crisis management
Capturing EO data has been improved with increased spatial resolution where spatial features are now more vivid in captured images. The images are now freely accessible over connected computers and phone gadgets through various plug-ins and software’s such as Google Earth, Bing maps, Arc Earth, Google Maps and other online web based platforms. The end result is explosion of diversified, semi organized and sometimes disorganized information available for use whenever a disaster or crisis is reported.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Population response to crisis varies with personality and perceptions especially in situation that require quick emergency response capabilities such as natural disasters or human hostilities such as terrorism and wars. Fear, despair and uncertainty normally brings [1]confusion among the population which creates a complex platform for managing surging population towards or away from disaster scene [2]. In any crisis, the populace always seeks reliable and authentic information which sometimes is hard to find; in that case a debate arises and experience are sought from past similar events and the nature responses that were administered. Disaster management trends has evolved from immediate response in the 1970s to risk reduction in the continuous years from the year 2000 to present where emphasis is on preparedness, response and mitigation through simulation. The economic losses have increased significantly to fourfold in most developed economies; a situation would probably be much greater in developing economies [3].Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The role of EO is critical is traversing space within a short span of time and proving reliable information which can be interpreted by space experts to extract useful insights for meaningful decisions whenever the crisis is put into context [4].Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

EO especially use of commercial drones and satellite is useful for targeted monitoring of crisis in hostile and inaccessible areas since information collected provide useful insight for pre and post crisis period including human movements with new advancements like night satellite imagery monitor through Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite sensor (VIIRS) [5]. The main focus should be on minimizing redundancy of information and proposing models which supports building of resilience for risk and disaster monitoring [6] which will eventually reduce occurrence of crisis.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Accessing EO data for countries without capability to operate their own satellite systems rapidly within a short time largely depends on international cooperation and bilateral agreements among space agencies which can request (disaster) charters to be activated whenever a crisis is reported. The nature of ownership of systems have now shifted from previously military intelligence to privately licensed space and defense companies [7].Creating a balance between crisis disruption and real time demand for reliable information is current emerging trend in development of allied information communication technologies (ICT) which is critical is disseminating information through the web based crisis alert and warning systems [8]. Moreover, reliance on initially mapping and survey organizations as the sole custodian of spatial data and maps has been revolutionized with volunteered citizen participation through geotagging and development of mobile compatible web based applications which can display those maps with little data or through mobile data hotspots which can be set up whenever there is need even in vey adverse disasters through VSAT [9].Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Processing of EO data and has been revolutionized with improved number of people with capacity of interpreting digital spatial imagery and wide range of application areas such as climate change, yield estimation, crop failure, land degradation and use of various sensors in early warning [10] where trends in surface solar radiation are estimated with reliable precision [11].Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Post crisis management receives less attention since immediate loss and damage normally receives a lot airing in both print and electronic media. This lowers confidence in recovery phase of crisis management projects which require external funding which largely depends on quality proposals and international cooperation which requires proper justification of the crisis aftermath [12]. Use of EO in post crisis management is sole responsibility of the affected country and her interested development partners who have to purchase such products where necessary. Public participation in post crisis especially through mapping is minimal more so through voluntary basis.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The policy systems in disaster management laws in many countries is a reserve of the senate or upper house [13]. Biased shifts to administrative systems with state control other than administrative policies create a scenario of overlaps and confusion in cases where administrative systems do not guarantee seamless integration of roles and resources at play [1].Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The center of crisis management is subject to a number of internal and external dynamics. The economic growth, levels of development, social status and the nature of spatial planning plays a major role in the internal dynamics of any crisis and influences approaches laid down towards its management. Since crisis at times gets political in nature, influences from external dynamics are unavoidable which at times are influenced by geolocation of the country in crisis and interest of neighboring countries or interested international organization or unions [14].Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Planning for post crisis requires budgets which are either funded by the government affected or through bilateral agreements. The post crisis phase receives a negative perception since the urgency is never seen; hence treated as low priority concern which does not require urgent approval of budgets from governments since some emerging issues might override until another disaster reoccur.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Extensive crisis with overlap of people displacement and inter border migration possess a new trend of threat to national security. Non affected countries/states perceive those migrating as taking advantage of the crisis situation to run away from their economic stagnation. The trend then changes from helping the survivors of such crisis to confining them to a controlled area which might pose a new threat of cascading effects such as disease outbreak, competition of resources and denial or restricted access to necessary rights and opportunities which are normally constrained by the crisis such as access to quality healthcare, education, socialization and at times lack of free movement [15].Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Crisis perception by bilateral partners have a huge effect on access to international goods and trade systems especially where alliances of aggression are suspected by an international union. This leads economic sanctions and embargos with key allies and partners which eventually affect local currency stability and degrades local economy growth [16].Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Creating a suitable crisis management plan is crucial successful management. This can be realized through establishment of committee for crisis deployment, developing a clear response policy in place for each category of crisis and design a suitable toolbox for crisis response [17]. Fundamental attention should be paid to addressing emerging issues such as public demonstration and chaos through a vivid risk management mechanism [18, 19]. The process should outline clear procedures before, during and after crisis management which should be shared with local established teams in various established location for quick mobilization. Necessary drills should be carried out to facilitate establishment of any existing gaps to improve lessons learnt. It is paramount to have extensive inoculate for public negativity by creating structures that support strong ethical theme with capability of managing population mistrust [20].Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

2. Research methodology
Review of existing technologies in EO and their use in crisis management is done with emphasis in the role they play in crisis management. Since crisis management does not have a direct approach; but involves amalgamation of a myriad of approaches; this study focuses on the usability and challenges that arises from such developments. This study also places a lot of emphasis on the timing of the phase of crisis at which EO data is freely made available and dissemination of such information to wider targeted audience.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The initial phase is data organization and authenticity which also affects the data integrity and data quality. Since usability is independent but quality is dependent on accessibility and medium of dissemination, EO data has to be subjected to a usability filtering model on which basic quality parameters can be ranked to facilitate rapid decision making for novice users who might not be GIS specialists as shown in Figure 1.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Figure 1.
Crisis management data model.
Once the information is organized in an agreed model, dissemination of such information needs to be channeled through acceptable political leadership. Access to EO technologies and dissemination channels are controlled by state agencies, hence their collaboration is paramount for success in gathering local information from the survivors in any crisis management. This is important despite the fact that some data can be collected using UAV through eye in the sky mechanism.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The process of reducing uncertainties among survivors is a vital process and analysis of addressing the bottlenecks associated with bureaucracies in relaying critical information and setting up priorities in evacuation and installation of critical equipment. The role of local administration is taken into consideration for seamless operation and effective people management. Presence or absence of reliable statistical information and people whereabouts is crucial in estimating the possible fatalities and survivors. This creates demand for accurate model for people identification that has the ability to reduce uncertainties.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Since every technology comes with associated challenges, focus is on the best practices that are able to improve the use of EO data and mobile technology in crisis management. Technology alone without proper protocol has proven to be another source of problem which slows down uptake of information and eventually the whole process of crisis management. This study therefore, proposes a technological inventory audit model which maps out the possible areas that have the capability to relay mobile information to both survivors and response coordinators. This has to take into account the cascading effects, especially in floods, fire and nuclear disasters which worsen over time whenever a quick rebuttal approach is not taken.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Adoption of analytics with capability of assessing the level applicability of EO data based on certain pairwise comparative parameters with defined scores is vital in ensuring that non expert users have a chance in selecting the right product. It has also vividly emerged that data mining challenge from enormous volunteer sources shall be easily managed through such analytics since the usability shall be determined through a defined score index table which is recommended in this study.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Effective data management requires effective coordination during the initial phases and relevant measures designed for future mitigation. Lessons learnt from usability and analytical models are integrated to be used for review, future planning and establishment of effective mitigation mechanisms. The datasets meeting the criteria are eventually used for effective crisis management.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

3. Usability of EO crisis data and role of mobile technology
Explosion of information during the initial phase of crisis creates an explosion of information which in most is highly disorganized and enormous. Most countries have national disaster and crisis management established bodies responsible for managing information related a given crisis in their respective countries [21]. Such bodies face the challenge of controlling proliferation of information in the social medial which could be trending faster than their official communication channels [22]. The situation is exacerbated with current use of mobile technologies which has made log on hotspots for sharing information readily available [23].

Evaluating the reliability and usability of such volunteered information requires a reliable framework with detailed quality check parameters with quantifiable rating [9]. Creating a balance between immediate needs of response and long term needs for coordination with all partners involved presents additional challenge especially managing proliferation of volunteers which might create a disaster within a disaster [24].Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Data is generated to be used for decision making when it has been processed to useful information. The mobile technology revolution has made sharing information almost seamless and real time. This situation makes it easy to redistribute non authentic information to unsuspecting users. Crisis provides no time for argument but quick decision geared towards response. The speed of response is useful for saving life and rescue of property within the crisis area. However, new mechanisms have been developed with algorithms with capability of addressing needs of immediate responders using eye of the sky through UAVs.

Automated alerts can be synchronized for predictable disasters such as those with slow onset such as flooding and wildfires. Use of technology makes easier to disseminates such information through temperature monitoring and use of sensors of accomplish success through coordinated data mining algorithms which can easily relay information to contacts within the database and for action to be taken.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

With improvement is web 2.0 technology, it is now possible to develop crisis dashboard monitoring system where one stop shop for crisis is established for a given crisis/disaster [25]. The data flow frequency provides insight to need for authenticating the information being passed. With new aspect of geo coding and geotagging, spatial components can easily be incorporated through simple data collection apps which can be installed into the gadgets given to individuals participating in crisis/ disaster management. The information be improved further through of geo-visualization and use analytics skills to improve data mining [26].Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Usability model proposed in Figure 2 examines suitability of such datasets against reference materials for both expert and general users of EO based data and products. The process of evaluating user categories varies from those with requirements well known to those unaware of EO requirements. This creates the need of reference data materials with capability of assisting in interacting with the datasets already ranked and not meeting the criteria for further check before being subjected to analytics model.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Figure 2.
Usability evaluation model.
The widening of user category is useful in catering for accommodating various important organizations such as Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), Disaster charter, DLR, among others who promote good community practice with emphasis on system and information quality which enhances user and use satisfaction to realize individual and organization impact on crisis management.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

4. Challenges of using technology in crisis and disaster management
Response to crisis is dynamic and complex process which makes it difficult to determine the actual source of signal received over the internet [27, 28]. Responders have difficult task of examining the ever growing traffic of information to filter useful information which would realistic for immediate and long term response especially scheduling of units efficiently [29]. In some instances, ICT is deployed with heavy investment but underutilized due lack of effective coordination [30].Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Filtering data from various sources can realized by setting priority identification of datasets through a semantics filter. The filter can be optimized to ensure that datasets with user feedback feeds shows up as the higher rank in that order and subsequently to those of low ranks. The information can be improved with enabling of geocodes customized for any feedback received and anti-robotics codes captcha to ensure only human results are collected.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The recent development in use of eye in the sky (UAV) is also affected by spectrum scarcity since new devices have been developed which operate within these bands with development focus on cognitive radio technology to address the problem using intrinsic characteristics [31]. Use of EO based data and associated products still faces challenges of data access, availability of high spatial resolution and technological limitations which are further compounded with proliferation of crowdsourced data [32].Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Extraction of useful information from EO based products might require heavy investment in terms of technology software and personnel. Hence, collaboration of already existing agencies within the crisis country who are familiar with use of such technologies should be identified prior to crisis occurrence. Understanding of communication and technology spectrum and the distribution of useful investment should be mapped well in advance to improve coordination whenever a crisis occurs. This allows the foreign interested partners to easily engage since the language of operation can easily be harmonized.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Technological developments are perceived to be the mode of communication in most urban regions, however, the reality is that rural areas are normally ill equipped with latest wireless technology like 3G or sometimes such regions lack strong GPRS signal network for GSM communication [33]. Therefore, reliance on technology alone for disaster management can itself be another crisis whenever there are power failures; or inconsistency in network upgrades.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The bureaucracy and legal bottlenecks associated with licensing and authorization at the time of crisis may slow down the process of getting reliable information or access of critical infrastructure such excavators, firefighting equipment, setting up emergency rescue centers and establishment of reliable communication channels which can be used by families of those affected. The problem is exacerbated when the equipment necessary for scanning possible survivors is either lacking or have to be borrowed from other countries abroad with strict protocol from government of the day.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Crisis and certain types of disasters normally occur and creates a myriad of uncertainties especially communicating to the public and adoption of open up approach where certain failures have to be admitted as precursor to increase in casualties and damage to property [34]. The situation further becomes complex when issues of adherence to stipulated regulations have been ignored or corruption has prevailed over the stipulated policy.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

5. Results and discussion
From this study, it has emerged that there are already certain approaches which have been developed to assist in usability evaluation such ranking of individual products through online portal as discussed by Sweta and Bijker [9] and Ferguson et al. [35]. However, in these approaches, none of them proposed the use of analytics model. In this study, the analytics model improves the extent to which the information can be filtered and used with less difficulty by both novice and expert users.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

This study also proposes a solution of a more robust ranking system which takes into account more variables which previous studies examined individually. The collective approach allows more detailed comparison to be carried out by first allowing comparison of usability model results with limitation and challenges arising from emergency and response phase of crisis management.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

This study has also found out that there is a weak link between EO data based product information to targeted users since less emphasis is placed on value of citizen observatory with direct information which is usable immediately. It has also emerged that parameters lumped together provides more robust information that individual modeling since several variables are weighed in the pre-processed products. Creating a platform for registering user requirements supported by proper search enabled semantic system is useful in implementing one stop shop for usability evaluation and access of such information to various category of users on several search engines.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Situation analysis coupled assessment and awareness are vital components crisis management and response planning. This study has found out that planning for movements especially provision of detailed routes, critical examination of documents for information validation, deployment of critical equipment for optical resource allocation and creating a well mirrored and secure network system are necessary items to be analyzed for effective crisis management.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The interagency bureaucracies, similarities and differences have been observed as part of challenges contributing to difficulties in effective crisis management. The working culture, public differences, availability of information is different formats are some of the challenges that needs to be harmonized. For example, data sharing in the usability format, tries to address the question of product rating by examining who needs what type of data and preferably in what format. The incorporation of organization psychology analysis is vital.

With multibillion dollar invest in satellite EO and related mechanism, emphasis should be placed in strengthening public–private collaborations to promote free open data access through establishment of relevant policies with little bottlenecks in the use of products from such collaboration. Although initiatives such as European Union (EU), European Space Agency (ESA) and USGS have established mechanisms to ensure free access to certain types of data through open data systems and open software’s for processing such datasets, lack of in-situ measurements in some cases limits the full utilization of such products for intended purpose of crisis management.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

6. Recommendation
This study recommends adoption of bottom up approach in communicating with public on disasters with high level of uncertainties. Strict adherence to stipulated regulations should be emphasized and made public so that any identified failures in the product or process can be corrected for effective crisis management. Minimizing anxiety is the best approach of containing crowds especially in the immediate aftermath with approaches like streaming electronic lists, use of public address and grouping of people by region. Each of the regions can be assigned an opinion leader and an assigned protocol officer to keep track of inventory. This helps to calm the crowd since they shall feel part of the process being undertaken and with proper approach of population segregation by age and disability, the process of handling dependents becomes efficient and seamless. The communication hub can then synthesize and disseminate feedback through bidirectional model.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

This study also recommends availing of relevant documents and resources such as telephone numbers and gadgets with specific numbers for incoming and outgoing calls. Secure electronic system for managing information from social media, access to local area network, mechanisms for documentation of events and subjects, plans and maps to assist in security, fleet, rescue, deployment and location of potential safety location for temporary settlement of displaced persons.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

For improvement of usability of EO datasets, that require calibration, this study recommends possibility of utilizing the power of citizen observatory to provide needed additional information to enrich EO products and assist in gathering feedback from use of disseminated products. The feedback data shall provide relevant information to be used in the ranking model gathering user feedbacks.

Mechanisms should be put in place to tackle conflicting and competing interests during crisis management. Focus should be placed in minimizing time taken to make decision to facilitate speedy actions for saving lives. The information being used for decision making could be improved with paradigm shift of incorporating 3D products for realistic contexts targeting geophysical environment using maps with good symbols and complete information for simulation.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The planning for future mitigation through effective approach with vivid incidents cycle of management for crisis detailing description on how future potential crisis can be mapped, disseminated and utilized. Incorporating crisis knowledge from previous lessons learnt through reachback approach. Mapping representations is useful reachback which should be adopted in any crisis management to link the customer service help desk, personnel in the field and crisis victims. The focus should be on delineating the reachback field of various crisis to facilitate information tailoring during communications among the partners involved.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

THE TOP TEN BUSINESS CONTINUITY AND DISASTER RECOVERY TRENDS

Dr. Steven Goldman identifies ten business continuity and disaster recovery trends that are emerging, highlighting actions that business continuity managers can take in response to each item.

10: There has been an overall worldwide increase in the number of natural disasters

As a trend, the incidence of natural disasters worldwide has steadily increased, especially since the 1970’s, according to reports from the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) and from global insurer Munich Re.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Climate-related disasters include hydrological events such as floods, storm surge, and coastal flooding, while meteorological events include storms, tropical cyclones, local storms, heat/cold waves, drought, and wildfires. There were three times as many natural disasters between 2000 and 2009 as compared to the amount between 1980 and 1989. The NEJM notes that a vast majority (80 percent) of this growth is due to climate-related events. As a result, the amount of economic damage due to these natural disasters has seen a steady upturn. This in turn means that companies and organizations need to be prepared for natural disasters.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

The number of geophysical disasters has remained fairly stable since the 1970’s. Geophysical disasters include earthquakes, volcanoes, dry rock falls, landslides, and avalanches.

What does this mean to you?

The conventional wisdom is that if you fight Mother Nature, she always wins. However, this does not mean you surrender! It means that companies and organizations need to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature can dish out. Remember Hurricane Sandy? Many companies in the northeast USA were battered, but several not only survived but also continued operations. How? Planning, preparation, and execution.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

9. The rise in malicious cyber attacks will continue

The McAfee Labs Threats Report, Third Quarter 2013, states that it has seen several familiar trends but reports a few new ones:

Steady growth in mobile and overall malware
A sharp upturn in worldwide spam
The shutdown of the online market Silk Road, which sold drugs and other illegal products
The emergence of the ‘Deep Web’, an online supply for cybercriminals
An increase in the use of digital currencies by cybercriminals to maintain anonymity for their illegal activities.
In the third quarter of 2013 alone, McAfee reported that its count of mobile malware rose by 33 percent. New malware of all types exceeded 20 million this period, pushing their all-time tally to more than 172 million binaries. New rootkits, which tunnel into systems and remain hidden, doubled in number this quarter. AutoRun threats, often spread via USB drives, remain numerous. Signed malware, which poses as approved legitimate software, continues to set records, increasing by almost 50 percent.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

What does this mean to you?

The impact of a cyber attack is compounded by the fact that more and more corporate assets and operations are online; thus an attack has a broad impact. The meaning of this trend should be obvious. Your organization must have a cyber attack prevention program as well as a response and recovery strategy. And you need to think outside the box your cell phone came in. Can you survive an attack on your mobile communications assets? That recovery strategy might be something as retro (and simple) as land lines and call trees. Do you have these in place? Have you properly tested them?

8. Some disruptions are becoming more predictable

With more and more massive amounts of technology and data available, we are more adept at predicting weather patterns, natural disasters, system breakdowns and even human threats.

What does this mean to you?

Business continuity and disaster recovery professionals need to have strategies and plans that become more preventative than reactive. Recall the old adage about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure, or in our case, a pound of response. Are you vulnerable to loss of electricity? Get a backup generator. Will staffing be a concern? Start a cross-training program, have available contract staff, bring in staff from other offices, or do more with less. Your business impact analysis should help identify vulnerabilities and consequences.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

So if a hurricane is predicted, you don’t have to wait until it hits to begin implementing response plans. But once an unexpected disruption hits, business continuity and disaster recovery efforts must move forward rapidly.

7. Disruptions should be considered the norm

Business interruptions – whether acts of nature, man-made or technical glitches – are no longer outlying anomalies, but are becoming the norm. Consider the potential for business disruption like bad weather – you don’t like it, but it’s part of business life; be prepared to deal with it.

What does this mean to you?

Organizations need to embrace interruption as part of expected ‘day to day’ processes and plan accordingly. To continue with the bad weather analogy, most days are relatively nice; but be prepared for the occasional thunderstorm.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

6. Cloud-to-cloud continuity will get serious with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

According to Forrester Research, disaster recovery is a leading driver for public cloud use, but mostly by enterprises looking to improve the resiliency of mid-to low-end apps and for smaller companies putting their entire recovery strategy in the cloud. But, during 2014, Forrester believes cloudbased DR will go cloud-to-cloud. The first phase will unfurl with cloud-to-cloud backups for mainstream SaaS offerings. In the SaaS market, enterprises struggle to restore data with steep recovery fees (or in some cases, total lack of service) by their SaaS vendors.

What does this mean to you?

Forrester reports that a new market of backup solutions is rising to meet this need with early solutions from companies. These offerings automate the protection of critical data that is stored with SaaS providers so organizations can recover this data if it is accidentally, or maliciously, deleted.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

5. The role of the business continuity and disaster recovery professional is changing for the better

In the earlier days of business continuity, there used to be a joke: What’s the difference between a highly paid, highly recognized BCP manager and a unicorn? The answer: they are both imaginary creatures!

With every disaster made public, the role of the business continuity and disaster recovery practitioner is enhanced at enlightened organizations. More and more, companies are realizing the need for business continuity and disaster recovery professionals on their staff.

What does this mean to you?

Life is good. We are becoming recognized more and more, and we are being taken seriously.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

In addition to having an interesting, high-profile job that your peers certainly must envy, you can rest assured that business continuity and disaster recovery professionals, for probably the first time, have an actual career path: at some companies, anyway. There are now position listings for Vice President, Business Continuity. Business continuity and disaster recovery has even reached the C-Suite, with the Chief Resiliency Officer role! With consistent increase in cause and cases for disruption, the industry is only growing and with that the need for business continuity and disaster recovery professionals should keep growing as well.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

4. Communications expectations are increasing

Information can travel around the world in seconds. And as Hamlet said, there’s the rub. Today people are carrying several communications devices and systems. How many of you have at least a cell phone, iPad or equivalent, plus a laptop? Does your briefcase or pocketbook look like the discount bin at Radio Shack?

What does this mean to you? First of all, understand the fast pace of technological change. It took 52 years for the basic telephone to reach 70 percent of US households. To reach the same household penetration for the cell phone, it took only 17 years. Apple launched the App Store in 2008 with about 500 apps. Today, there are over one million apps available on the App Store. Facebook went from zero users to over 1.1 billion users – that’s Billion – in only 9 years. You need to keep up.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

On the one hand, this technology allows your employees, customers, suppliers, etc., to communicate quickly and freely; this is truly amazing. On the other hand, this technology raises the expectation that your employees, customers, suppliers, etc., will be contacted quickly when necessary: such as in an emergency. This is over and above your critical responders. Communication plans need to factor in these expectations.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

What does this mean to you?

Fast initial communications are more important today than ever. You have to get in front of an event before it swallows you up. Incredibly, some emergency public relations manuals are still advising that companies have as much as 48 hours to gather information, develop a message, and respond to an event. The exact guidance of one such manual is ‘Assess severity, length of issue and media life. If you believe this is a very small ‘flash in the pan’ it may be best to not make public statements for 24-48 hours and see how quickly the issue goes away.’ Realistically, it’s more like 24 minutes!

3. Social media will continue to drive business continuity and disaster recovery response

Like it or not, social media is here to stay. The format, apps, and technology may evolve, but it’s not going away anytime soon. Used properly, social media is a powerful tool for crisis leaders to notify and communicate before, during, and after an event. However, because of its immediacy, spontaneity, ease of use, and general lack of protocols, social media can also be a burden to crisis responders. Incorrect information and rumors can intermingle with facts; this requires social media response strategies.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

What does this mean to you?

Organizations must know how to leverage social media and harness its power rather than let it control your response.

Also, companies/agencies need policies on what information (non-emergency response) employees can give out to the public, the media, and even their family and friends. Employees need to know and understand your communication policies and protocols, especially during a disaster.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Make sure you have emergency communications policies such as:

– “Statements to the public and news media concerning an emergency at {Organization} are to be made only with the knowledge and guidance of the Emergency Communications Team.”

– “Information requests made to individual {Organization} employees and contractors by the public, media, and government officials must be referred to the Emergency Communications Team.”

What about the social media? You should have a policy such as:

– “Employees shall not use social media to discuss, describe, or inform anyone about any aspect of an emergency at {Organization}”

But wait!! Is this policy legal??

I am not a lawyer, but Julie Meadows-Keefe of the law firm Grossman, Furlow & Bayó, is.

“It’s a thorny issue. That policy could raise some First Amendment and other issues. If an employee is trapped in a building with an active shooter and is trying to communicate with friends and family about whether they are alive or injured – a life or death issue – the policy interferes with their ability to do that; I don’t believe an organization will discipline an employee for that. However, if an employee is tweeting about the event on his/ her personal account, the employee is violating company policy but is within his/her First Amendment protections.”

What should an organization do? Ms. Meadows-Keefe says, “I know this sounds lawyerly, but the organization policy should be a ‘strong recommendation’ not to discuss the event on social media; but if you do, make sure it is clear that the message is identified as a personal opinion. This policy is not easy to implement or enforce; policy violation discipline would probably be on a case-by-case basis. It’s frustrating; but the bottom line is that organizations should train all employees on the policy and assume employee common sense.”

2. Twitiots will continue.

I thought I invented the word twitiot – a tweeting idiot. However, a brief Internet search already found several references and uses of the word. Oh well… So here’s an easy prediction. Several people will become famous by the end of 2014 – or infamous – by tweeting/blogging something stupid.

Remember the alleged public relations expert who made stupid statements about visiting South Africa? How many politicians or movie stars have caused themselves crises by being a twitiot?

Who can forget ‘Carlos Danger,’ aka New York Congressman Anthony Weiner? He became the center of a media firestorm in 2011 when he briefly posted on Twitter a lewd self-portrait for all of his constituents to see. After saying it was a prank, he admitted it was intended as a direct message to a Seattle woman as ‘a joke.’ Now painfully aware of the power of Twitter, Weiner no longer holds elected office.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

Karine Vanasse was well known for playing the role of stewardess Colette Valois in the US television series, Pan Am. In December of the show’s first season, she sent out the following tweet:

“Well, we received THE call, #PanAm is only coming back for one more episode after Christmas. But up to the end, we’ll give it our all!”

The problem? The series star broke the news of the show’s impending cancellation before the network was ready to announce it. Now Ms. Vanasse is not an idiot, but she essentially released company confidential information before management was ready. Could this happen to your organization? As I stated previously, do you have policy that covers social media?

What does this mean to you?

Everyone with an Internet connection/e-mail/Twitter account – essentially all your employees – must understand that by pressing the ‘Send’ button, they are sending a ‘personal’ message to potentially hundreds of millions of people. And there are no take-backs. Again, what is your social media policy during an emergency?

1. Be prepared for the Matrix, the Robot Uprising, or Skynet!

Yes, each of these science fiction threats centers on ‘The Machines’ taking over. But when The Machines do take over, that means YOUR machines too! Forrester’s Rachel Dines and I advise those firms that have not yet updated their BIAs or continuity plans to include these science fiction risks, to do do. Here are three tips that can get you started on the right path:

A. Store data in offline forms and/or on local devices. Whether you choose tapes (outside of a Machine accessible tape library), punch cards, paper, or optical media, you must keep current copies of critical data in a format that can’t be sabotaged by the Matrix, robots, or Skynet.

B. Keep continuity plans on paper and/or on local devices. You’ll want to have your plans for specifically dealing with The Machines’ uprising in a format that is hard for them to assimilate so they can’t devise countermeasures to your plans. Additionally, you should store key elements of your business continuity and disaster recovery plans (e.g., contact lists, notification instructions, prescripted employee/media statements, basic response strategies, etc) on paper, on local mobile devices that would not be impacted, and/or in a separate cloud. These technologies should be able to provide the required information without a network connection.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

C. Have emergency shutdown protocols for your data center. To prevent The Machines from taking over your data center and using it for their own nefarious purposes, you need a data center emergency disconnect and emergency shutdown plan.

What does this mean to you?

Interestingly, these three strategies can and should be applied to more mundane – and more likely – disasters such as loss of power to your data center, evacuation of the data center, and loss of access to the building containing the data center.

For example, if you have a building evacuation, can you quickly and orderly shutdown (and transfer) your data center? How do you access plans and data that are stored online?

Something else to consider: When I run loss-of-power drills for my clients, several responders say that when power is lost, the response strategy is simple: employees will work from home and they can VPN in to the network. However, some VPNs are structured such that employees at home or in other offices have to remotely log onto their desktops to access the company network. Imagine their surprise when home responders realize that even with a time-limited UPS–or when The Machines take over – power will be lost to the desktops! How will the workers at home be able to access the network? The answer is: they won’t! Thus this alleged business-saving work-at-home strategy will not work. As a results of these exercises, my clients preventatively fixed the problem. You should too.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

To wrap up, I note that predicting trends is always a risk. But in our business, the one thing we can expect is the unexpected, requiring us to be prepared. No fortune cookie need tell us this; it’s what we do.

The author

Dr. Steven B. Goldman is an internationally recognized expert and consultant in business continuity, crisis management, disaster recovery, and crisis communications. He has over 30 years’ experience in the various aspects of these disciplines. His background is comprehensive yet unique in that he has been a professional engineer, corporate spokesperson, manager of media relations, business continuity planner, crisis responder, consultant, and a Fortune 500 company’s Global Business Continuity Program Manager. Dr. Goldman is a cofounder and Lecturer at MIT’s ‘Crisis Management & Business Continuity’ Professional Education summer course. www.SteveGoldmanAssociates.com

This article was sponsored by xMatters:

xMatters’ cloud-based communication solutions enable any business process or application to trigger two-way communications (text, voice, email, SMS, etc.) throughout the extended enterprise during time-sensitive events. With over a decade of experience in rapid communication, xMatters serves more than 1,000 leading global firms to ensure business operations run smoothly and effectively during incidents such as IT failures, product recalls, natural disasters, dynamic staffing, service outages, medical emergencies and supply-chain disruption. More details.Emerging Trends in Cloud Technology Essay

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