How Much Can The US Government Save By Going To The Cloud?

How Much Can The US Government Save By Going To The Cloud?

The government has often been accused of wasteful expenditure. Ask any average American citizen about government expenses, and there’s a good chance you will get a derisive response which also includes a strong opinion on why citizens should stop paying taxes because they seldom get their money’s worth. Now, a new report says that indeed, a lot of government expenditure can be considered wasteful with the advent of cloud computing.

According to the “Federal Cloud Weather Report” commissioned by cloud computing company VMware, the US government could save as much as $14.4 billion annually by moving to the cloud. While skeptics may point at several problems with such a move and even VMware’s own motives in capturing government contracts, there is considerable evidence to support these figures.

Fortunately for us, we have a young and dynamic government official who recognizes the advantages of this emergent technology of cloud computing – Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Vivek Kundra. President Obama made a wise decision in appointing this man as the first CIO of the government, and he has already started delivering.

Since assuming office, Kundra has formulated the 25-point cloud policy and cancelled money-gulping projects without mercy. In fact, this month he had testified that the canceling of four IT projects and restructuring of 11 others has saved about $3 billion in less than five months (See: The Architect of the Official Cloud Computing Revolution – CIO Vivek Kundra ). In light of these figures achieved in only the initial months, the larger figure of $14 billion certainly seems possible.

The report is based on an email survey conducted by MeriTalk, an online government IT community, among 167 federal CIOs and IT managers. Although it did reveal that 79% of them hadn’t got on Kundra’s cloud policy, 64% promised to be on board in two years. As expected, security was cited as the major concern.

Our goal was to check the cloud migration status to get a better feel on how to help partner with the federal government, find out what their challengers [are] … and provide some recommendations to them on how to move forward with cloud computing,” said Aileen Black, vice president of government sales for VMware.

Since this survey was conducted in January, it is not clear whether it took into account Kundra’s decision to drastically cut down on the number of government data centers (See: Federal CIO Vivek Kundra Plans to Shut Down 100 Data Centers by 2012, 800 by 2015 ).

In conclusion, if you want your tax dollars to be used wisely, ask your local elected representative to push for cloud computing.

By Sourya Biswas

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