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  • -Hi, I'm Martin Rust, the director of the Security and Policy Institute for Professional

  • Development, here at the University of Ottawa. My guest today is Dave Buchanan. Dave is the

  • director for the Canadian federal government with the company called VCE. And VCE does

  • a lot of business and interactions with the federal government, especially in the area

  • of technology and data centers and clouds. And, hopefully, you're going to help us understand

  • some of that today. But first of all, let's start with sort of the environment with the

  • government today and what are your observations around the government vis-à-vis technology.

  • Just sort of a big picture overview.

  • -O.K. So, when we talk about technology, Martin, I'm going to kind of divide technologies into

  • two groups. One: end user devices, the things that you and I touch and use every day. Your

  • mobile phone, your laptop, your desktop. And two: the data center environment, the place

  • where all the smart sit and are utilized and looked at, etc., etc. And, really, my focus

  • is really around the data center or what a lot of people are calling the cloud. And I

  • would say that utilization of that technology, i.e. the data center, is, within large businesses

  • and governements, very much utilized based on how they buy those technologies. And I

  • would say that there is a fairly large percentage of businesses and governments that are still

  • buying technologies as technologies were bought and run five to ten years ago.

  • -And yet, the technologies themselves have changed quite a bit. So, help me understand

  • what that gap really is.

  • -So, five to ten years ago, when I was looking at a data center environment - and I'm speaking

  • specifically around the hardware, not the zeros and ones or the smarts or how things

  • are moved around, but around the hardware, traditionnaly in the data center environment,

  • there was a person or group of people that ran the plumbing, i.e. the networking. There

  • was a group of people that ran the compute, i.e. the brain of the data center. And there

  • was a group of people that ran the storage, i.e. where all the stuff was kept. Now, when

  • you look at how that was bought traditionally, those groups were buying thoses pieces separately.

  • Today, in a data center environment, you are not buying those pieces separately, you're

  • actually buying those pieces purpose-built and delivered as a whole. So it totally changes

  • how the technology is utilized. It totally changes how the technology is able to deliver

  • what the user, you and I, want to use on a daily basis.

  • -So, if I understand you, the analogy going through my head is: when I was growing up,

  • we bought a hi-fi stereo and we bought the different components, we brought them home,

  • plugged them all in, and they were expensive, but they worked. But they were pretty big

  • and pretty cumbersome. Whereas today, I can buy a smartphone, or something like that,

  • that manages my music and that delivers the music much the same way.

  • -Correct. And an user device is simple to use, it's small, it's light. I would call

  • it very thin. And the data center environment that delivers those services to that is very

  • agile, a lot more inexpensive to run. It's a smarter, faster, cheaper way of doing things.

  • -And so, the governement, today, we would say, is probably still buying things largely

  • in the old or more traditional way.

  • -Correct.

  • -So, they're still buying things pretty much off a shopping list, individual components,

  • and then putting them together themselves, correct?

  • -Yes. I think that is to change very quickly. I think even in buying that cloud appliance,

  • the new way of picturing things, there still is... they can't forget the old ways.

  • -Right.

  • -Yes. Yes.

  • -And so, a trend, then, that you're seeing is a trend towards doing some of these things

  • that are currently available today. That says to me that there's a bit of a leapfrog approach

  • here.

  • -Well, and that's a great technology advantage that the government can take advantage of.

  • Because they have a lot of... And quite smartly, they've sweated a lot of assets, they need

  • to buy new things. And just like buying a mobile phone, you don't buy one for a couple

  • years, what you get is a very cool new device.

  • -Right. So, as the banks and the insurance companies and other private sector have labored

  • and spent the money year after year after year, it helped push technology to advance,

  • the government has an opportunity now to leapfrog all of that and take advantage of those gains

  • that have been realized for people.

  • -For sure. For sure.

  • -Terrific. Well, thank you, Dave. I'm Martin Rust, with the Security and Policy Institute

  • for Professional Development, here at the University of Ottawa. My guest is Dave Buchanan

  • with VCE.

-Hi, I'm Martin Rust, the director of the Security and Policy Institute for Professional

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政府的採購技術 (Purchasing Technology in Government)

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