The Challenge with Globally Distributed Research and Development Organizations (Data Analytics, Secure Code Signing, Secure Collaboration)
The globalization of the world’s economic system has produced a flattened global business landscape that transcends even the far-reaching “World is Flat” views postulated by Friedman in 2005. Research and development organizations are no longer housed in a single building, a single bullpen, or even within a single geographic location. The meteoric rise of outsourcing coupled with rapid acquisitions and divestitures of companies has produced a global landscape in which project taskings are allocated across geographical and governmental boundaries, creating an effective 24/7 development environment. Developers in multiple countries may operate in a shared development environment, using local toolsets to develop code, and then sign them and upload them into a cloud.
For other development efforts, such as distributed drug discovery operations, clinical trials, and data analytics, the globally distributed workforce uses similarly large application and data stores and then submits results to a central archive for processing and analysis. Common to all of these distributed environments is the need for unprecedented information assurance to ensure protection of intellectual property as well as prevent the insertion of malware or spurious code. Data and code signing and strong authentication is mandatory in these instances. The strong authentication issues are compounded by the need for large sizes of secure local storage for the support of large development toolsets and/or data stores for “in memory” data analytics.