Governments can benefit from cloud use

August 27, 2012

As cloud popularity rises among business owners, government agencies are beginning to look to the cloud for their own benefit. Governments want to take advantage of the numerous cloud services, including scalability, low costs and unlimited data storage.

Although the cloud has been marketed to businesses for adoption, there is a growing demand for cloud services among U.S. government agencies, according to a recent Government Insights survey conducted by IDC. The majority of government employees (90 percent) agree that the cloud will impact the infrastructure of computing.

Despite an increase in cloud approval, IT departments within the government do not have the proper knowledge to implement cloud strategies, according to the IDC. The lack of cloud knowledge could explain why local governments are the least enthusiastic about using cloud services. Cloud Times' Xath Cruz wrote that local governments could benefit the most from the cloud.

In order to increase cloud use among government agencies, the Obama administration has issued the Cloud-First Strategy. This is meant to lower IT costs and "consolidate federal data centers through the adoption of cloud-based applications," according to Richard Moulds, Thales' vice president of management and strategy.

As a government's trust in the cloud rises, some worry about the security of stored data. Moulds suggested encryption as a method to cloud security.

"Over time, cryptography has been proven to maintain confidentiality by rendering data unreadable to anyone unable to convert it back to its original state," wrote Moulds. "That means if a data breach occurs, the data is useless to the attacker." Governments should also evaluate the cloud options and determine the best security level for an agency's needs.

Governments should learn the best ways to implement cloud solutions and ensure data protection in order to access the myriad cloud hosting benefits.

-McAfee Cloud Security