• Article
Securing States: Modernizing to Attract & Retain Cyber Talent

This publication is a culmination of a partnership between the National Association of State CIOs (NASCIO) and the National Governors Association, which started in 2022, to assist states in identifying the concrete actions they can take now to bridge the cybersecurity workforce gap.

Read More: https://www.nascio.org/resource-cen...s-modernizing-to-attract-retain-cyber-talent/

  • Article
Every voice matters in the City of Seattle’s 2023 Technology Access Survey

The City of Seattle is gathering information from the community to better understand residents' access and use of technology and internet services, barriers to use, and the support needed to help ensure all residents have the same opportunities. The Technology Access and Adoption Study helps guide digital equity programs and funding for Seattle residents.

Read More: https://techtalk.seattle.gov/2023/0...ty-of-seattles-2023-technology-access-survey/

Cloud services: A cloudy forecast for state and local governments

Cloud services continues to grow exponentially making it flourish into a multi-billion-dollar industry. According to a survey by Synergy Research Group, the global cloud infrastructure services market grew by 35 percent in 2020, with the top five cloud providers (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, Google, Alibaba and IBM) capturing more than 70 percent of the market share. In a soon-to-be-published “2023 CompTIA Public Technology Institute (PTI) State of City and County IT National Survey,” 69 percent moved to on-premises infrastructure (storage, virtual machines, etc.) to a private cloud. Similarly, 71 percent shifted from using a local version of an application to a cloud application (SaaS). About 30 percent stated they are using a managed services provider, and another 25 percent are considering doing so this year. Outside of the survey, many local government IT leaders have expressed frustration toward many leading vendors who are no longer offering on-premises solutions thus forcing them into the cloud.

Read More: https://www.americancityandcounty.c...udy-forecast-for-state-and-local-governments/

  • Article
Inspecting high-rise buildings with drones in Chicago

From: https://www.heliosvisions.com/2023/02/21/inspecting-high-rise-buildings-with-drones/

How drone technology made a facade inspection of a 500 ft tall building in Chicago easy​

Chicago is home to over 1,000 high-rise buildings. Some of these high-rises are brand new; others were built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Each skyscraper has its own style and character. For many of these structures, construction, and maintenance pose a real challenge. How can you see the side of a building in detail when it could be hundreds of feet above you? Enter: drones and digital twins.

Digital twins are virtual recreations of real objects. They are used in commercial real estate assets for inspections, or in construction to plan and track new buildings with Building Information Modeling (BIM). Digital twins have many benefits for areas of inspection such as facades and bridges, where a detailed 3D model can provide better access to the asset. Digital twins of high-rise buildings and construction sites provide data that can be used for inspection, maintenance, and documentation. When paired with drone inspection software, a digital twin can be achieved faster than a manual inspection with better safety and cost savings.

Inspecting high-rise buildings with drones
3D model of the building ready to inspect, analyze and share

Specialized infrastructure inspection with drones​

Helios Visions is a drone services company specializing in infrastructure inspections via drone for companies throughout the USA. Typical projects include inspections of buildings, facades, construction sites, bridges, and other infrastructure with drones. We were contracted by a local engineering firm to inspect a historic high-rise building in Chicago with drones. We collected the aerial data of the building’s facade and processed the drone imagery.

Inspecting the Union Carbide Building with drones​

The Union Carbide and Carbon Building, designed by the renowned Burnham Brothers firm, was completed in 1929 in an art-deco architectural style. Standing 503 feet tall, it stands at 37 stories. It was declared a landmark in the 1990s and saw some restorative work in 2004, totaling $106 million dollars. It’s an iconic part of Chicago architecture, with a facade including granite and terra cotta elements.

Inspecting high-rise buildings with drones

Union Carbide and Carbon Building

The new owners of the building decided it needed a condition assessment to check for any maintenance needs before the launch of the new renovation. This building assessment would include checking the facade for any damage or potential upkeep requirements. These inspections are important for ensuring high-rise buildings are safe – if an element becomes loose, or falls, it could pose a danger to people nearby.

Helios Visions sent a drone inspection team to the building to gather data to assist in the building assessment. Our drone pilots collected high-resolution georeferenced imagery of the building’s facade and rooftop. The drone flight had to cover the entirety of the building and ensure enough overlap between images so the drone software could process an accurate 3D model. The whole building was inspected with drones in just one day. After data collection, the Helios Visions team uploaded the imagery to the cloud-based software and deliver the 3D digital twin to the client.

Creating a digital twin of a building with drones​

The digital twin showed all of the facades and rooftops of the building and was used for a detailed analysis of the condition of the building’s exterior. This included careful inspection of the status of the building’s facades, and rooftops, annotations of maintenance requirements, and measurements of architectural elements. We shared their digital twin with our engineering client, who highlighted areas where potential maintenance or repair work could be required. This immediately provided the building owners with valuable information about the condition of the building. The digital twin can also be used in the long term as a baseline to monitor the building’s conditions. We compiled the 3D digital twin, and high-resolution imagery, and shared them with a structural engineering company to complete a building maintenance report for the client.

The future of building inspections with drones​

After the digital twin was generated, the engineering company used the data to do the initial inspection of the building for the conditions assessment. The digital twin is hosted online and easy to share between the engineers and the client. The engineers commented on the ease of measuring the length and areas of elements on the model and crisp high-quality imagery. The straightforward user interface of the inspection software made collaboration easier for everyone.

Inspecting high-rise buildings with drones
Performing measurements on the digital twin

Once the annotations and measurements were completed by the structural engineers. The client used the digital twin model for historical records and documentation, as well as plans for any changes or maintenance to the building. With the annotations, detail, and accuracy all combined in the digital twin, the client now has a complete idea of the status of the entirety of the building – all thanks to a drone facade inspection and digital twins!

How To Beat Impostor Syndrome

Let's talk about how to overcome Imposter Syndrome (IS).

I am an introvert by nature and identified IS as something I needed to understand so I could overcome it. Identifying self-doubt as the cause for my IS, which lead to me being "shy", was a key to overcome it. I had to put a name to it before I could plan the path through it.

Self-doubt rears its head in many ways to different people. For me, it kept me inside my comfort zone. I knew that I had to force myself to get out of my comfort zone in order to really break free of IS. I made a plan. I was going to put myself into uncomfortable situations and I was determined to learn navigate them without planning (I'm a planner and analytical, so doing this without planning the situation was a huge part of the getting to goal).

Step 1 – Plan the non-plan.

Keep an eye out for opportunities to start up conversations with a stranger. This came in the form of asking someone in the grocery store aisle with me what they thought about a product, or if they preferred this brand or that. I also asked other women in the department store for their opinion on shoes or jewelry.

I was flying a lot for work, so I would strike up conversations with folks waiting with me at a gate or even a neighbor on the flight.

Doing this was a low-risk situation. If the person I was asking wasn’t personable or not in the mood to talk, that was fine, and I lost nothing. In hindsight, every interaction was delightful. Even if the person didn’t want a full conversation, they were pleasant and answered my question.

Step 2 - Do something I would never do.

I’m risk averse (perfect for being a cyber security expert) and I don’t really like adrenaline, so I avoid anything that is in this category, including speeding. So, I went skydiving. It was quite an experience and I am glad I did it and I will never do it again. But I did it. It was the biggest gesture I thought of that was outside my comfort zone and I survived. No, I thrived after.

Step 3 – Speak up.

After I built up my confidence and created a new internal narrative, I was more confident speaking up in team meetings and advising clients. My teammates and clients valued my voice and advice, and this led to continued personal and professional growth.

I knew that if I could prove to myself that all the self-doubt was baseless and just the way I saw myself, then I would change that self- perception by taking these steps. I proved to myself through a series of inconsequential interactions that I could do all the things I wanted to do. There was nothing I couldn’t overcome and nothing in my way to continue my journey, this time with confidence that I can do it and I deserve it.

Every person is different, and this is what I did to overcome IS. Your journey may be different, and I would love to hear your experience. Please take a moment to share if this resonated with you or if your journey had been different.

How the City of Spokane Uses LPR Technology for Parking

License Plate Recognition (LPR) technology, which utilizes cameras and software to read license plates, has been used since the late ’70s in the United Kingdom. Many municipalities began using it in the ’90s.

LPR technology is used by multiple departments at the City in varying ways. Parking Services originally tapped into the technology in 2015.

Starting in 2022, the department began using LPR to determine if motorists have paid for parking or stayed beyond the limit in the same parking space. LPR also identifies vehicles on the scofflaw list, which indicates who has unpaid parking tickets.

Each of the City’s three Parking Services vehicles has two LPR cameras and two tire cameras.

Read More: https://my.spokanecity.org/news/stories/2023/03/13/how-the-city-uses-lpr-technology-for-parking/

Mayor Duggan announces new Digital Equity Director to lead Detroit’s fight to close the Digital Divide

Mayor Mike Duggan today announced the appointment of Christine Burkette as the city’s new Digital Equity Director. Burkette, a Detroit native and IT company CEO, is excited to use her experience to continue the work of closing the digital divide in her hometown from the inside out.

“Detroit has continued to lead the way nationally on Digital Equity & Inclusion,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “We have no doubt that adding Christine as the leader of this team will continue to help Detroit close the Digital Divide, continuing the City’s path to become one of the most connected cities in America.”

Read More: https://detroitmi.gov/news/mayor-du...ctor-lead-detroits-fight-close-digital-divide

Toronto to remove, block TikTok on city-issued devices

The City of Toronto says it will be removing TikTok from approximately 350 City-issued devices that it has been downloaded onto.

In a statement issued Friday afternoon, the City said it will also be blocking the app from being downloaded on City-issued devices in the future.

The City said the decision to block and remove the application “is in line with the approach of federal, provincial and municipal partners, and was made in consultation with the City’s Technology Services Division, Office of the Chief Information Security Officer and Senior Leadership.”

Read More: https://globalnews.ca/news/9543624/toronto-to-remove-block-tiktok-on-city-issued-devices/

18 April, 2023 | CompTIA Partners and UK&I Community Meeting

This meeting is open to all training partners and technology professionals
The day is divided into two distinct parts, with the morning dedicated to training partners and the afternoon focuses on best practices and leadership within the CompTIA Community.
Throughout the day, attendees will have ample opportunities to network and connect with their peers and industry leaders.

Who should attend:

Join the morning session
if you are an IT organisation looking to learn more about nurturing and growing talent within your business. Bring along your future leaders, as they can get first-hand information on how to improve skills. Sessions will also benefit CompTIA Partners and Training Centres looking to elevate their training delivery. CompTIA Partners will get valuable advice on delivering top class training programs and any training centres looking to enhance their training delivery.

Join the afternoon session if you want to network with technology professionals, hear from experts in the field about the best practices for businesses and leaders. Throughout the day, attendees will have the opportunity to network and connect with their peers and industry leaders. They will be able to share their experiences, ideas, and challenges and learn from one another. This is a unique opportunity for members to learn and grow in their professional careers and improve their business acumen.
The Auditorium in Baldoyle Training Centre
Baldoyle Industrial Estate, Dublin 13

Mayor Adams Celebrates 20 Years of NYC311 With Release of State of 311 Report

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today celebrated the 20th anniversary of the launch of New York City's 311 service, the platform that provides New Yorkers seeking information and assistance from the city agencies direct answers and support to their needs. Since it launched in March 2003, 311 has received more than 525 million contacts — through phone calls, texts, social media posts, website submissions, chat support, and a mobile app — from New Yorkers. As part of the celebration, Mayor Adams today released a State of 311 Report, detailing all-time contact statistics, peak moments of service, and some of the most popular service requests. Mayor Adams also released a video reciting a list of the most outrageous questions and comments New Yorkers have made to 311 over its 20-year span.

Read More: https://www.nyc.gov/office-of-the-m...ates-20-years-nyc311-release-state-311-report

Fact or Fallacy: Digital Workplaces Involve Far More Than Purchasing Solutions

A digital workplace is a virtual counterpart to the physical workplace, where employees can collaborate and use various tools to complete their day-to-day tasks. Digital workplaces have gained momentum since the start of the pandemic as organizations moved to remote and hybrid work. State and local governments can greatly benefit from digital workplaces to enhance both the citizen and the employee experience.

Still, many government agencies have been slow to accept the concept of the digital workplace due to some common misconceptions.

Read More: https://statetechmagazine.com/artic...kplaces-involve-far-more-purchasing-solutions