In-Q-Tel, an information technology firm that specializes in IT-related hardware and services for U.S.-based intelligence agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, has recently invested in the newfound cloud technology as a means of supporting advanced operations within the field and ensuring information accessibility for U.S. officials. While most of the firm's major investments are kept secret from the public, their two latest endeavors are anything but secretive. As reported by several prominent news sources, the firm has recently partnered with Socrata and AppThwack; two separate platforms that will each have a unique and important impact on future intelligence protocol.
What is In-Q-Tel?
Originally launched in 1999 under the name Peleus or In-Q-It, In-Q-Tel is a program that was introduced and led by Gilman Louie. Meant as a standard to identify and implement viable investment strategies involving information technology on behalf of the U.S. government, In-Q-Tel now teams with various personnel, including professional research teams, venture capitalists and individual entrepreneurs, as a means of providing governmental organizations with the latest and greatest in software, hardware and IT infrastructure.
Operating out of Seattle, Washington, Socrata provides analysis software for industry professionals. This software is used to assimilate raw data from multiple sources, which it then transforms into pertinent, usable information. The results can be displayed in the form of graphs, visualizations or other types of computer-based interfaces.
According to Robert Ames, Senior Vice President of Information and Communication Technologies with In-Q-Tel, Socrata provides an "innovative analysis and visualization technology" that is expected to meet evolving intelligence gathering initiatives.
Socrata's CEO and Founder, Kevin Merritt, added to Ames' comment by saying, "Our focus with open data has always been to develop innovations that make enterprise data useful for the other 99% of users who are not data scientists by training."
Socrata is known to work with numerous governmental entities, including Medicare, Data.gov, the World Bank and various state and city governments. However, the ultimate goal of their specific partnership with In-Q-Tel is to bolster the collection of intelligence across the globe while providing a simplified, user-friendly means of reading and interpreting the information after it has been gathered.
Based in Portland, Oregon, AppThwack offers cloud-based data accessibility which allows engineers and developers to perform automatic, remote testing of apps meant for iOS, Android and web browsers. This quickens the entire development and testing cycles, while eliminating the need for in-house testing and development processes.
When the partnership was first announced, Jay Emmanuel, Senior Vice President of In-Q-Tel's mobility operations, was quoted as saying, "Due to the wide adoption of apps, both for external and internal use, along with increasingly popular internal app markets and policies, there's a great need to test and vet apps within the enterprise."
The partnership between In-Q-Tel and AppThwack is expected to streamline governmental IT development, strengthen testing capabilities and bolster the use of mobile-based software and technology within the field. This allows developers to detect and troubleshoot problems before deploying mobile hardware or applications, and it also makes it easier to locate and patch bugs once the technology has already been released.
U.S. Intelligence Officials Utilize Cloud Technology
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