Obama Appointee Taps Cloud Computing - InformationWeek

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Commentary
3/10/2009
01:05 AM
David Linthicum
David Linthicum
Commentary
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Obama Appointee Taps Cloud Computing

It's clear that new White House appointee Vivek Kundra is part of a "new generation of CIOs" that consider cloud computing as a viable architectural option. "I'm a big believer in disruptive technology," he told the Wall Street Journal. To him, following the traditional approach of only investing in tried-and-true systems is a sure way to become outdated...

In this Wall Street Journal blog post it's clear that new White House appointee Vivek Kundra is part of a "new generation of CIOs" that consider cloud computing as a viable architectural option.

"I'm a big believer in disruptive technology," he said. To him, following the traditional approach of only investing in tried-and-true systems is a sure way to become outdated. "If I went to the coffee shop, I would have more computing power than the police department," he said. "Consumers had better technology than the government did."

As state, local, and the Federal government look to improve the way they do information systems going forward, clearly the cloud option will be on top of their list. While that's clearly the case now, until recently most government organizations considered cloud computing "politically incorrect," mostly around myths such as "you can't secure it," or "it's proprietary," or "it will cost jobs." None of that is really true when you look at the realities.What cloud computing has been missing is advocacy from the top. Thus, by Kundra stating...

"I'm all about the cloud computing notion... I look at my lifestyle, and I want access to information wherever I am... I am killing projects that don't investigate software as a service first."

...suddenly cloud computing will have some validation from the top. Perhaps it will get the attention it needs as a platform option that has the potential of saving some tax payer dollars, and provide a more effective IT infrastructure as well.

Truth be told, the Federal government is already all over cloud computing although not yet in large-scale deployments. However, the government is kicking the tires enough to tell me that, where these types of deployments make sense, many of the systems built within this new administration are going to be cloud based. Most in Federal IT were waiting for some indication from the top that this is something that's okay to do, and now they are getting that signal.

However, for those in Fed IT that are still a bit skeptical, I have a few suggestions:

  • Don't consider this a "huge shift." It's not, it's just another platform option that may, or may not make sense for your new or existing systems. Focus on what did not change, versus what is changing.
  • Focus on the long term benefit, such as the ability to get at additional capacity, as you need it, without creating long and drawn out procurement processes.
  • Keep in mind that you still need to do good architecture, and practice good security and governance; those requirements don't go away.

Nothing to it, really. Now that there is some support from above, the cloud computing option is more attractive than ever for the Fed.It's clear that new White House appointee Vivek Kundra is part of a "new generation of CIOs" that consider cloud computing as a viable architectural option. "I'm a big believer in disruptive technology," he told the Wall Street Journal. To him, following the traditional approach of only investing in tried-and-true systems is a sure way to become outdated...

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