When it comes to the cloud, don’t start with technology

It’s easy to get caught up in the technology of cloud computing. We’ll certainly see that occur at the annual AWS Re:Invent show this week, where hundreds of providers  will show off new and shiny technology.   

But don’t get stuck in the weeds.

I’m all for using the best cloud technology for security, platforms, governance, monitoring, management, and now machine learning and internet of things (IoT). But getting too down in the weeds with the technology could mean that you’re missing the bigger picture, making your solution suboptimal as a result.

What I suggest you do instead is spend some time doing a logical plan and a logical architecture. That means planning and designing your cloud solution without considering the technology you’re going to use.

In that effort, ignore the functions, advantages, and limitations of the hundreds of types and brands of cloud technology out there. If you remove those details from your plan and architecture work, you’ll get a much better result, one that is more in sync with the needs of the business. Only then do you get into the technological weeds to figure out the right technology for that logical plan and architecture.

After all, you really have no idea of what public or private cloud are optimal for your specific needs, as well as no idea about security, governance, monitoring, and so on, until you do an in-depth analysis of your own business requirements.

I’m not asking that you ignore the technology altogether, only that you think first about what you’re trying to accomplish at a much higher level of abstraction. Then, once you understand the requirements and the logical solution, you can go nuts with the technology—meaning the technology you know now is the right technology.

Too many companies pick the technology first, and then figure out what the business needs. That’s just crazy, but it happens all the time. Don’t be that kind of company.

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Low-Cost Seismometers from Geophones

Funding Opportunity ID: 299013
Opportunity Number: USGS-18-FA-0017
Opportunity Title: Low-Cost Seismometers from Geophones
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Opportunity Category Explanation:
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Category of Funding Activity: Other (see text field entitled “Explanation of Other Category of Funding Activity” for clarification)
Category Explanation: Non-Competitive Cooperative Agreement
CFDA Number(s): 15.808
Eligible Applicants: Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Additional Information on Eligibility: Non-Competitive Cooperative Agreement
Agency Code: DOI-USGS1
Agency Name: Department of the Interior
U. S. Geological Survey
Posted Date: Nov 24, 2017
Close Date: Dec 04, 2017
Last Updated Date: Nov 24, 2017
Award Ceiling: $45,000
Award Floor: $45,000
Estimated Total Program Funding:
Expected Number of Awards: 1
Description: Non-Competitive Cooperative Agreement
Version: 1

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Managua Annual Program Statement – PAS Small Grants Program

Funding Opportunity ID: 297148
Opportunity Number: SNU700-FY18-PAS-01
Opportunity Title: Managua Annual Program Statement – PAS Small Grants Program
Opportunity Category: Other
Opportunity Category Explanation: The opportunity categories will include: grants, cooperative agreements and Fixed Amount Awards (FAA).
Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement
Grant
Other
Category of Funding Activity: Education
Category Explanation: Categories of funding will include the following activities: Promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and technology, and development of a bilingual work force, especially among women and youth. Prevention of gender violence in Managua and Puerto Cabezas. All projects should target youth ages 15 – 35 and contain an element of direct interaction between Americans and Nicaraguans.
CFDA Number(s): 19.040
Eligible Applicants: Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Individuals
Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Additional Information on Eligibility: Eligible applications for this Annual Program Statement are: US and Nicaraguan individuals and non-profit and non-governmental organizations with legal status. All awards are subject to funds availability. Recipient cost-share is encouraged, but is not required.
Agency Code: DOS-NIC
Agency Name: Department of State
U.S. Mission to Nicaragua
Posted Date: Oct 23, 2017
Close Date: Jun 29, 2018 Submit all application packages to ManaguaIRC@state.gov only. It is required to submit the full application package. No application package will be accepted after June 29, 2018.
Last Updated Date: Oct 23, 2017
Award Ceiling: $100,000
Award Floor: $5,000
Estimated Total Program Funding:
Expected Number of Awards: 10
Description: The U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Section – Small Grants Programs awards grants to U.S. and Nicaraguan individuals and non-profit and non-governmental organizations with legal status to support innovative projects focused on empowering Nicaraguans through educational and entrepreneurial opportunities including promoting a bi-lingual workforce and preventing gender based violence in Managua and Puerto Cabezas. The Small Grants Program cannot fund the following activities: projects supporting primarily partisan political or religious activities; international air travel unless essential to the goal of the project; humanitarian or charitable activities; for-profit, commercial or trade activities; fundraising campaign; scientific research; institutional development per se or support of an organization; activities that duplicate existing projects; construction; vehicles; salaries as the main purpose of the grant; and refreshments as the main element of the grant. The PAS Small Grants Program will evaluate and score proposals according to the following criteria: 1. Quality of the program. 2. Ability to achieve program objectives. 3. Project evaluation. 4. Budget and Narrative Justification. All awards are subject to funds availability. Recipient cost-share is encouraged, but is not required. To apply, please complete all the required forms and submit them via e-mail to ManaguaIRC@state.gov and write “Grant Application” in the subject line. Applicants can find the required forms for this funding opportunity announcement under Related Documents and Package tabs.The application package must have: 1. Proposal form. The proposal should clearly state the background of the organization and the project description. 2. The application form for Federal Assistance (SF – 424 form for organizations or SF – 424i for individuals). 3. Detailed budget (SF 424A form, SF 424B form, and the budget narrative form). 4. For organizations: proof of on-line registrations in DUNS, NCAGE, SAM.GOV, Grants.gov systems. All applicants must update their on-line registrations every year. No fees are involved. 5. Key contact form and CVs. 6. Certification. 7. SF LLL Disclosure of Lobbying Activities form. Please submit these documents in PDF, WORD, EXCEL or JPG formats. The Embassy cannot receive e-mails with zipped attachments that contain WinZIP or WinRAR extensions.
Version: 13
Modification Comments: To update post date on Oct. 23, 2017.

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R40 Maternal and Child Health Field-Initiated Innovative Research Studies (FIRST) Program

Funding Opportunity ID: 295205
Opportunity Number: HRSA-18-071
Opportunity Title: R40 Maternal and Child Health Field-Initiated Innovative Research Studies (FIRST) Program
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Opportunity Category Explanation:
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Health
Category Explanation: https://grants.hrsa.gov/2010/Web2External/Interface/FundingCycle/ExternalView.aspx?fCycleID=40c0eae0-9ef5-400c-b1ca-22da93d6939e
CFDA Number(s): 93.110
Eligible Applicants: Others (see text field entitled “Additional Information on Eligibility” for clarification)
Additional Information on Eligibility: Only public or non-profit institutions of higher learning and public or private non-profit agencies engaged in research or in programs relating to maternal and child health and/or services for children with special health care needs are eligible to apply (42 CFR § 51a.3(b)).  Faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations are eligible to apply, if they otherwise meet these eligibility criteria.  Non-U.S. entities are not eligible to apply. Applicants are required to submit proof of non-profit status.
Agency Code: HHS-HRSA
Agency Name: Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
Posted Date: Nov 06, 2017
Close Date: Jan 08, 2018
Last Updated Date: Nov 06, 2017
Award Ceiling: $0
Award Floor: $0
Estimated Total Program Funding: $900,000
Expected Number of Awards: 3
Description: This notice solicits applications for the R40 Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Field-Initiated Innovative Research Studies (FIRST) Program.  The purpose of the MCH FIRST Program grant is to advance the health and wellbeing of MCH populations by supporting innovative, applied, and translational intervention[1] research studies on critical issues affecting MCH populations. [1] For the purpose of this NOFO, an “intervention” is defined to include behavioral, social, or structural / health systems approaches, as well as combination applied clinico-medical and behavioral, social, or structural / health system approaches that contribute to the prevention of diseases or improvement of health (including clinical) outcomes for mothers, children and families at a population level.
Version: 1

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