The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – iPhone Anticipation
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – The Concept Department
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Passwords

Does Moving to the Cloud work for the US Federal Government?

Does Moving to the Cloud work for the US Federal Government?

The Federal government’s relationship with cloud computing have always been a topic of interest on this website. Over the last months, I have covered this area in considerable detail. However, but for the slight hint of skepticism, the articles have been largely positive about cloud computing and the Federal government’s efforts to embrace this new technology. However, today, I adopt a slightly critical tone and discuss some issues that have been raised, issues that say cloud computing’s benefits have been largely exaggerated.

Most of the Federal government’s enthusiasm about cloud computing have largely been an outcome of recently-departed Chief Information Officer (CIO) Vivek Kundra’s faith in the technology (The Architect of the Official Cloud Computing Revolution – CIO Vivek Kundra ). It was under his stewardship that the government released the official Federal Cloud Computing Strategy in February 2011 that stated “Cloud computing can significantly improve public sector IT”, and outlined the way to go about it.

However, the fact that not all government officials were in agreement was brought forth by a survey conducted by research firm Ovum that found that about 46% of government officials believed that cloud computing will not save their agencies enough money to make using it worthwhile. In other words, the very people tasked with implementing the cloud strategy in government seem to doubt its efficacy (See: Update: What Do Government Officials Think Of Cloud Computing? ). Now, it would be easy to dismiss such opinions as typical bureaucratic resistance to change; however, it makes sense to examine them in detail before dismissing them outright.

Now, these concerns can be broadly classified under the following two categories – cost and security. I will analyze these categorized concerns one by one:

Cost: Projected cost savings have been the main driving point of the Federal cloud initiative (See: How Much Can the US Government Save by Going to the Cloud? ). However, many believe that the cost of transitioning from the current IT infrastructure to the cloud will entail costs now that would far outweigh any savings that may result in the future. Teri Takai, former CIO of the state of California and present CIO of the Defense Department, has gone on record as saying, “The community that feels that moving to cloud computing is cheaper hasn’t fully explored what the costs of cloud computing are and what the challenges of cloud computing are.”

Security: Now, security has always been a major bugbear for cloud computing, and multiple incidents in the recent past haven’t improved the situation (See: Should You Be Concerned? A List of Recent Cloud Computing Failures – Intuit goes down ). In July, the Pentagon suffered its largest breach, in which hackers obtained 24,000 confidential files, an operation suspected to be carried out by foreign intelligence. In this regard, several government departments, especially those like Defense, State and Homeland Security that deal with confidential information, have found themselves hesitant to place their faith in cloud computing. As Ms. Takai pointed out, “with the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks on defense systems, we are concerned with any new approaches that can introduce new risks.” While she did believe in the possibilities of cloud computing, she would rather have the chinks worked out before supporting its adoption in departments dealing with critical data. That is why other departments can help by embracing cloud computing and helping to remove its shortcomings.

In conclusion, these issues definitely need to be addressed. The mechanism of government is quite different from industry, and hence, a customized solution is required. Until that is available, official reluctance is not only expected, but to some extent, justified.

By Sourya Biswas

sourya

Sourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being a freelance journalist with several articles published online. After 6 years of work, he has decided to pursue further studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has completed his MBA. He holds a Bachelors in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Information Technology. He is also a member of high-IQ organizations Mensa and Triple Nine Society and has been a prolific writer to CloudTweaks over the years... http://www.cloudtweaks.com/author/sourya/

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Support

Recent

Beyond Gaming: Three Practical Applications For Oculus Rift

Beyond Gaming: Three Practical Applications For Oculus Rift

Three Practical Applications For Oculus Rift  Since the announcement of the Oculus Rift in 2012 gamers and game developers alike have been frenzied trying to both get their hands on the unit or build their own proprietary VR machine. The VR gold rush has since lead to the announcement of Project Morpheus from Sony and…

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Due Diligence

The Lighter Side Of The Cloud – Due Diligence

By David Fletcher Please support our comics by sharing, licensing or visiting our cloud sponsors (Below). Your support goes a long way in allowing us to continue to produce our lighthearted comics each week.   About Latest Posts souryaSourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute,…

Popular

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing

The Global Rise of Cloud Computing Despite the rapid growth of cloud computing, the cloud still commands a small portion of overall enterprise IT spending. Estimates I’ve seen put the percentage between 5% and 10% of the slightly more than $2 trillion (not including telco) spent worldwide in 2014 on enterprise IT. Yet growth projections…

5 Considerations You Need To Review Before Investing In Data Analytics

5 Considerations You Need To Review Before Investing In Data Analytics

Review Before Investing In Data Analytics Big data, when handled properly, can lead to big change. Companies in a wide variety of industries are partnering with data analytics companies to increase operational efficiency and make evidence-based business decisions. From Kraft Foods using business intelligence (BI) to cut customer satisfaction analysis time in half, to a…

Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

Five Signs The Internet of Things Is About To Explode

The Internet of Things Is About To Explode By 2020, Gartner estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion worldwide. It’s an astoundingly large figure given that the sector barely existed three years ago. We are now rapidly evolving toward a world in which just about everything will become…

5 Ways CIOs Can Tackle Cloud Fears

5 Ways CIOs Can Tackle Cloud Fears

5 Ways CIOs Can Tackle Cloud Fears  CIOs are tired of hearing about cloud computing concerns. They’ve spent years reading about how cloud resources are subject to risks, and wonder – what can they do to help people trust the cloud?  The truth is that despite being a hot issue for years, the topic of…

4 Different Types of Attacks – Understanding the “Insider Threat”

4 Different Types of Attacks – Understanding the “Insider Threat”

Understanding the “Insider Threat”  The revelations that last month’s Sony hack was likely caused by a disgruntled former employee have put a renewed spotlight on the insider threat. The insider threat first received attention after Edward Snowden began to release all sorts of confidential information regarding national security. While many called him a hero, what…

Sponsored Posts

From C:\Prompt To CYOD – The Timely Shift To Desktop as a Service

From C:\Prompt To CYOD – The Timely Shift To Desktop as a Service

The Timely Shift to Desktop as a Service There may be some colleagues lurking within any given workforce who remember what a C:\> prompt meant. Much like the ring from Middle Earth, it had the power to make things happen. Desktop computers at that time were large grey beasts, with their only wired connection being…

Cloud Logo Sponsors

hp Logo CityCloud-PoweredByOpenstack-Bluesquare_logo_100x100-01
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100
Site 24x7


Contributor Spotlight

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Branded Content Programs

Advertising