Government IT: Too Much Cloud, Too Soon? - InformationWeek

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Commentary
6/15/2010
06:12 PM
John Soat
John Soat
Commentary
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Government IT: Too Much Cloud, Too Soon?

A government oversight committee is asking questions about the fed CIO's rush to cloud computing. Could this put the brakes on government innovation in IT?

A government oversight committee is asking questions about the fed CIO's rush to cloud computing. Could this put the brakes on government innovation in IT?

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra said Tuesday at InformationWeek's Government IT Leadership Forum that the federal government must strive to close the "IT gap" between the public and private sectors, and touted a new emphasis on project and performance management and an acceleration of cybersecurity measures, according to a news story on InformationWeek's site.

However, members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform have sent a letter to GSA CIO Casey Coleman asking questions about Kundra's most ambitious IT effort, his cloud strategy. They plan to examine "the benefits and challenges of a government-wide transition to cloud computing" and intend to hold a hearing "on the potential benefits and risks of moving federal IT into the cloud," according to a press release on the House Committee's Web site.

According to the press release: "The committee chairs are concerned that there are no clear policies and procedures in place for cloud computing; that standards have not yet been developed for security, interoperability, or data portability; and that a finalized plan for the government-wide implementation of cloud computing is not readily available."

There are only two scenarios here: One, that this is typical Washington showboating and the resultant publicity for the government cloud will generate more interest from potential users (and backers) than ever before; or that this will mire the fed's cloud initiative in bureaucratic mud and stop government IT innovation in its tracks.

I have my opinion. What do you think will happen?A government oversight committee is asking questions about the fed CIO's rush to cloud computing. Could this put the brakes on government innovation in IT?

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