11 trends from 2006

Readers can follow these links to GCN's 2006 coverage of a variety of information technologies, and how they could affect operations in the years to come.

1. Cheap, fast geomapping:

Geographic information systems have been around for well over a decade, though 2006 is certainly the year agencies started to get their hands on cheap geospatial capabilities, thanks to free and open-source offerings by Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., Autodesk Inc. of San Rafael, Calif., and MetaCarta Inc. of Cambridge, Mass.

More on geomapping from GCN

Agencies face new, 3-D era of geospatial information (11/07/06)

Autodesk meets Google (09/18/06)

Maps: the new application interface (09/25/06)

Autodesk meets Google (09/18/06)

When X doesn't mark the spot (08/28/06)

Data scraping, Web 2.0 style (04/24/06)

2. Web 2.0:

Web 2.0 certainly wins the buzzword of the year award, but behind the hype lies some promising technologies for government agencies. The term is shorthand for a wide and sometimes shifting range of Web technologies. In a nutshell, how these technologies make Web 2.0 different from the plain old World Wide Web we all know now is that they all can offer richer online interactions for the user, allowing you to better use agency services or even to communicate with like-minded individuals. More

More on Web 2.0 from GCN

Forecast predicts shift in IT spending (10/30/06)

Ajax-based collaboration (10/23/06)

Ruby won't trump Java (10/30/06)

Web 2.0 business models affecting enterprise systems design (9/26/06)

The amazing Wikis (08/21/06)

The story behind Ajax (08/23/06)

E-Gov meets Web 2.0 (07/17/06)

At your service (04/24/06)

3. Beware the Botnets

Bots, or compromised computers under the remote control of a hacker, have been around for years. But botnets'networks of compromised machines under the control of a single evil overlord'have grown into a significant problem over the past year, as hacking has moved from a vanity hobby to profit-driven organized crime. More

More on botnets from GCN

Spam surge bot driven (11/01/06)

Sharing data is crucial to cyberdefense (08/21/06)

Hacker arrested for breaching DOD systems with 'botnets' (11/04/05)

4. The battle of government search

Government information became a hot commodity this year. In January, the General Services Administration relaunched FirstGov.gov, the official government search site, after hearing endless groans about the older system. More

More on federal search engine from GCN

Google wants you (11/20/06)

FirstGov.gov's new search engine launched (01/24/06)

Google launches federal search engine (06/15/06)

The search is on (07/03/06)

Vivisimo goes beyond FirstGov (06/05/06)

5. Virtualization

To veteran mainframe systems administrators, virtualization is nothing new, and open-source enthusiasts have been slowly building on the technology over the past few years. This year, however, it broke into mainstream enterprise computing in a major way.

More on virtualization from GCN

The future of virtualization (08/22/06)

Virtual IT helps make do with less (06/26/06)

Microsoft goes virtually ga-ga (06/12/06)

The server that wasn't (05/22/06)

Virtualization for trusted computing? (04/17/06)

What is software virtualization? Try it (03/22/06)


The new Personal Identity Verification card mandated by Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 could usher in an era of public-key-infrastructure-enabled transactions, improved network security and interagency trust models. But it won't happen anytime soon. More

More on smart cards from GCN

Education hires VeriSign to improve PIV card issuing (11/16/06)

PIV's new deal (11/06/06)

OMB wants copies of new PIV cards (10/27/06)

Ready or not, here come the PIV cards (10/26/06)

EPA signs deals in hopes of making HSPD-12 deadline (10/06/06)

PIV specs come down from NIST (09/25/06)

Agencies enter the home stretch for HSPD-12 (09/25/06)

HSPD-12: It's not all in the cards (08/28/06)

PKI use advancing at DOD (08/14/06)

Surveys: HSPD-12 plans lag (07/10/06)

7. Loose Data:

The past year saw a steady parade of security breaches exposing sensitive personal data to possible abuse. One of the biggest was the theft in May of a Veterans Affairs Department notebook PC containing records on more than 28 million individuals.

It is unclear whether the problem of loose data is getting worse or we're just hearing more about it. More

More data security from GCN.com

IP address exposed anonymous mudslinger (11/01/06)

Data held by feds, vendors at risk (10/13/06)

Free sells. Who knew? (10/06/06)

Agencies lag on reporting data breaches (08/17/06)

Hacker breaks into USDA system; data may be stolen (06/26/06)

When data walks (06/05/06)

VA not alone in letting data walk out the door (05/31/06)

VA data files on millions of veterans stolen (05/22/06)

NSA urges use of better redaction methods (02/20/06)

Without a trace (02/20/06)

8. Corporate open source

Major IT companies, most notably IBM Corp., have increasingly embraced open source over the past several years. But this year saw an unprecedented interest by the IT clan of the Fortune 500.

Most notably, Microsoft Corp. signed a partnership deal with Novell Inc., in order to have Novell's Linux platform work more easily with Microsoft Windows. More.

More on open-source from GCN

Stormy weather hits Microsoft/Novell parade (11/22/06)

Microsoft and Novell to play nice (11/20/06)

Sun opens Java (11/13/06)

Oracle serves Red Hat (10/27/06)

Microsoft relents on open documents (07/17/06)

9. Defense Software Acquisition Reform

Could 2006 be remembered as the year that the Defense Department finally declared war on its lumbering software development process?

In February, James Finley had taken the helm as the new deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition and technology and shortly thereafter started looking for ways to expedite the process of getting software to DOD's systems. More

More on Defense acquisition from GCN

DOD IG blames GSA, Defense for procurement problems (11/06/06)

Senators to DOD: Pull the plug on DTS (11/17/06)

On the defensive (10/09/06)

Field It Faster: Our Warriors Can't Wait (01/06)

10. IPv6 gets legs

year ago, IPv6 was an unfunded mandate; a project offering few short-term benefits and with little in the way of motivation except directives to have the new version of Internet Protocols working on government backbones by 2008.

Today, agencies have begun developing written plans not only for how they will implement IPv6, but how they will integrate it into their core missions. More

More on IPv6 from GCN

IPv6: It's a configuration management issue (11/20/06)

IPv6: The future is now (08/14/06)

Agency planning for move to IPv6 needs improvement, GAO says (07/31/06)

CIO Council offers best practices on IPv6 transition (05/31/06)

An attempt to define 'IPv6-capable' (05/15/06)

Agencies find there's no single path to IPv6 (04/03/06)

How exactly will you get your IPv6 addresses? (04/03/06)

Lost in Transition (04/03/06)

11. Power consumption

At this year's SC06 supercomputing conference in Tampa, Fla., Top500.org organizer Erich Strohmaier suggested adding a new metric to the ones he uses to evaluate the world's most powerful computers: power efficiency. More

More on data centers from GCN

Senate calls for studying data center power consumption (07/31/06)

When data centers lose their cool (05/15/06)

Energy lab to run petascale computer (03/29/06)

EPA Energy Star program to tackle server market (02/08/06)


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