April 5, 2012
In the private sector, cloud computing has established itself as a virtual essential for streamlining and optimizing a business' operations. Increasingly, government agencies on the local, state and federal levels have also begun to make the shift toward cloud -based services. However, as cloud computing continues to evolve, it is also becoming more complex, making the transition challenging for some of the larger-scale governmental departments.
The Department of Defense is one such agency. As Washington Technology reported, Robert Carey, deputy CIO at the Defense Department, recently spoke at the FOSE conference about the challenges facing the DOD as it aims to move toward the cloud.
According to Carey, the DOD wants to homogenize its computing environment in order to create a more uniform network architecture among the four main military services: the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force. By doing so, the DOD would achieve a higher degree of security, as well as improved availability of information. This last point is particularly important for the DOD, as military personnel require access to information regardless of location, time or the device being used.
However, despite these and other myriad benefits the DOD may experience as a result of converting more of its services to the cloud, the department has thus far taken "baby steps" in that direction, according to Carey.
This assessment is in line with comments Carey made in September of last year at Defense Systems Summit 2011. Emphasizing that standard military installations serve as many as 50,000 individual users, Cary explained that the sheer number of personnel in the DOD complicates the process of moving toward cloud computing, and that "everything needs to be thought through well."
Experts widely agree that planning is an important component of the successful implementation of any new technology, including the cloud. This is especially true when the technology in question is constantly evolving. Organizations looking to switch to the cloud, such as the DOD, must consider not only which form of the cloud to implement - private, public or hybrid - but also the best practices for guaranteeing that security measures are put in place and enforced. However, the cloud does not have to be a security risk - by utilizing cloud security software and engaging in thorough training and education, companies and organizations can successfully, safely implement cloud processes.
-McAfee Cloud Security