George Orwell's book Nineteen Eighty-Four is about a society living in a world of perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance, and incessant public mind control. But one of Orwell's lessons was that technological innovation should be at the service of mankind, and allow us to live better lives.
As disappointing as recent revelations are about Apple and Google having access to our location-based data, we are arguably enabled to lead richer, safer, and ultimately better lives, thanks to the cutting edge technology from high-tech trailblazers like them. Nowhere is this better exemplified, but in the seemingly endless supply of extremely useful and life-enhancing mobile applications. While I rued the day when I moved to the ubiquitous iPhone, the feeling was fleeting, probably around the time I downloaded the mobile version of Salesforce.com.
But there are other mobile applications that have the potential to keep our nation safe; apps that enable immediate access to life-saving information on disease outbreaks, natural and man-made disasters - and even identifying nefarious characters on the FBI's most wanted list. As Orwellian as it may seem, it has become very hard to commit the perfect crime without someone, somewhere watching and capturing the details. I sleep better at night knowing field applications specifically designed for warfighters' mobile devices, such as real-time geospatial data, keep my friends and family - and the world - a safer place.
Separately, under the direction of US CIO Vivek Kundra, agencies are encouraged to virtualize federal desktops onto a mobile platform that government employees could access from their own smart phones, laptop computers and mobile devices. “The old world is a single platform on a desktop,” Kundra said. “The new world is a virtual platform.”
Mobile, virtualized apps, especially the mission critical variety, require high-availability and a close eye on network utilization to ensure strong SLAs are met. We've come to expect immediate access, certainly to garden variety-type apps. But I could probably survive if knowing what gourmet food trucks were in my area on "Urbanspoon" was delayed. I could not imagine the same tolerance for delayed mission-related defense or intelligence data because bandwidth was unpredictably tapped out.
As our government moves to a virtual world with a plethora of applications available anywhere, the ability to scale while maintaining speed and performance using a solid network performance management platform is critical. This has to change as the virtual world evolves.
To paraphrase Mr. Kundra, “The old world is monitoring apps used on a desktop. The new world is monitoring the virtual platform.”
Are you looking to enhance visibility into your agency's cloud-based applications or evolve your network and application performance management strategy to coincide with the growing number of mobile apps and focus on virtualization? Leave a comment so we can learn how we can help.