Yesterday was a big day – Stephen Forte, our Chief Strategy Officer, was in the US Congress! Besides talking about Telerik, our quest for global software domination and the Bulgarian-American friendship, Stephen was there to comment on a very important and pending issue: should US government modernize its systems and ensure that heaps of historic information are not just stored but are also accessible. In essence, Stephen urged them to move away from mainframes so that they can start using our tools:)

Here’s what Stephen and the others had to say in the discussion (article from Washington Internet Daily):

Government Urged to Modernize to Save Historic Data
-- by Alexis Fabbri

Moving government data from legacy to modern systems is costly but necessary, speakers said Monday at an Association for Competitive Technology event. Lack of interoperability between new networks and obsolete technologies like magnetic tape mean "we can all read the Declaration of Independence but might have trouble opening a Word document from 1984" of possible historical importance, said ACT President Jonathan Zuck. ACT, a technology lobbying group, was founded in 1998 in response to the Microsoft antitrust case.
Decades' worth of historical data are "stored in ways that we can't access," including magnetic tapes and even punch cards, Zuck said. Change "feels risky and complicated" with "a lot of unknowns associated with it," he said. More study and research into where and how agency data are stored would help "put to rest" some of "amorphous and scary aspects," Zuck said. "More interoperability is probably worth spending some money, time and effort," he said. But agencies and lawmakers "haven't acknowledged the growing risk" of leaving data in obsolete forms and the need to find strategies for "bringing data forward over time," he said.
That key data worth archiving might be inaccessible is "something that taxpayers deserve to know," Thomas Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste, said. Markets still exist for mainframes but there's "not much competition," he said. IBM controls "just about everything related to mainframes," Schatz said.
Some state governments are innovating, Schatz said. Texas is moving to a network- based electronic filing system that cuts filing time and requests for hard copies, he said. The North Carolina Highway Patrol spends about half the time on reports than the previous 276 hours a year, he said. "We don't need legislation to get this done" at the federal level, Schatz said. Agencies simply need to step up, he said.
It's time to make the move, said Stephen Forte, chief strategy officer at Telerik. "To some degree it's a ticking bomb," he said. As systems and technologies age, parts and repair technicians grow scarcer, he said. Many magnetic tape makers are out of business, "a creeping problem," he said. "You'd have to build drives to read those tapes," reversing rather than progressing, he said. "For government, there does have to be a massive migration process" but "fast forward" a couple of years "and the government could get that return" on investment, he said. 
About the Author

Vassil Terziev

As Chief Innovation Officer at Progress, Vassil Terziev is responsible for identifying growth strategies and new market opportunities, as well as promoting internal innovation.


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