5 technologies on the way out in 2012

The technology landscape is changing, with government moving increasingly toward new-school technologies, such as mobile and cloud computing, while cybersecurity concerns rise and budgets shrink.

In the process, some technologies and products that feds have come to rely on are on the way, possibly even this year.

GCN’s sister publication, Federal Computer Week, takes a look at five such old friends that could be reaching the end in 2012, and considers the likelihood that they’ll still be around in 2013. Below is a brief look.

FULL STORY at FCW.comTechnology on the outs in 2012

1. Single-function devices
The BlackBerry used to rule in government circles, but primarily because of one function: secure messaging. Users are now turning to do-it-all smart phones, such as Android devices and the iPhone, and agencies are starting to accommodate them. A recent survey and found that, although nearly 90 percent of government institutions use BlackBerrys, only 50 percent plan to do so in a year.

2. Windows XP

Familiar, stable and, after Service Pack 3 (SP3), reasonably secure, XP had grown popular in agencies during its decade of existence, and even had written mission-specific programs for it. Tough. Microsoft will end support for SP3 in April 2014. Many agencies, like most everyone else, avoided Vista, waiting for Windows 7. Some might even be waiting for Windows 8 next year. But pretty soon, anyone with XP is going to have to say goodbye.

3. Dedicated e-mail servers

Agencies are under orders to move some applications to the cloud, and e-mail is the most common first choice. The decision is whether to use a public cloud or build a private cloud, depending on the sensitivity of the data they handle. But either way, e-mail will end up in a cloud environment.

4. Personal blogs

Blogs by agency executives were one of the signature tools of Gov 2.0, a sign that government was reaching out to the public. But they’ve largely disappeared, being replaced, if at all, by social media platforms.

5. IPv4

Address space for Version 4 of the Internet Protocol is fast running out and most Top Level Domains, including .com and .gov, have turned on IPv6, which offers a virtually unlimited number of addresses. 

A memo issued in September 2010 by then Federal CIO Vivek Kundra required agencies to support IPv6 for all public-facing websites and services by Sept. 30, 2012, and to use IPv6 for all internal client applications by Sept. 30, 2014.

IPv4 won’t disappear soon, running in tandem with IPv6 for a while. And for government agencies, it’s an unfunded mandate, so there hasn’t been a big internal push to make the switch. But major players, such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, are on board, and will take part in this year’s World IPv6 Launch Day, which could finally mark the beginning of the end for IPv4.


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