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Forecast: Increasing Clouds Over Washington

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January 22, 2014
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We are pleased to see our technology partners, EMC® and Microsoft™, lending their leadership and expertise to the newly formed Cloud Computing Caucus Advisory Group, which will help educate and guide the Feds on issues related to cloud adoption. They have their work cut out for them.

Although the federal government mandated a “cloud first” strategy three years ago, adoption has remained sluggish. Only 11 providers have been certified by the government. And while it’s reported that Federal IT is saving $5.5 billion annually thanks to cloud initiatives, it is still leaving a lot more money on the table.

It’s curious that the pace of adoption is so slow. With the mountains of data in the government’s possession, there’s probably no entity better able to capitalize on and benefit from cloud computing. It’s clear what the mission of the federal infrastructure ought to be, and it’s not operating data centers.

Perhaps the absence of a profit motive is a disincentive. Or vast IT decentralization makes enforcement difficult. As has been happening in business, the services delivery side of government ─ the business side ─ needs to pressure the IT side to get on the ball.

Don’t hold your breath. David McClure, the associate administrator of the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies at the General Services Administration (GSA), said that changing the culture is one of the biggest obstacles to implementing cloud computing. Agency managers, he said, are not comfortable rethinking business processes in order to adapt to the speed and use of data.

Hopefully, the advisory group will help them see the error of their ways.

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