Cloud
Commentary
5/24/2010
05:00 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
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Is Uncle Sam a Role Model for Cloud Computing?

Perhaps more of an object lesson than a prime example. The fed's fits and starts around cloud computing seem typical of an organization trying to adopt (and adapt to) a disruptive new business process. What's the takeaway? Stick to the vision, and serve the customer.

Perhaps more of an object lesson than a prime example. The fed's fits and starts around cloud computing seem typical of an organization trying to adopt (and adapt to) a disruptive new business process. What's the takeaway? Stick to the vision, and serve the customer.

The Obama administration, and in particular its high-profile CIO, Vivek Kundra, is committed to streamlining and enhancing the government's use of IT. A big part of that effort is an ambitious cloud computing strategy.

However, the fed's cloud computing effort has hit a "snag," mainly in terms of adoption by the various government agencies, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago. It seems agency execs are wary of interacting with the fed's online store, Apps.gov, which offers one-stop shopping for various cloud services. Some are only window shopping, downloading license agreements and research data, while others prefer working out their own security and compliance agreements with particular service providers.

But an article in InformationWeek last week lists a number of areas where Uncle Sam is pushing forward its cloud computing agenda, including an update to the Apps.gov site. The article also discusses a new initiative by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to accelerate the development of cloud computing standards.

The update to the Apps.gov site is known as info.apps.gov, and it is intended "to give … visitors more of what they've been looking for." Working toward standardization, and giving users what they're looking for rather than forcing something down their throats, are two rational ways to encourage acceptance and implementation of something as radical as the cloud.Perhaps more of an object lesson than a prime example. The fed's fits and starts around cloud computing seem typical of an organization trying to adopt (and adapt to) a disruptive new business process. What's the takeaway? Stick to the vision, and serve the customer.

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