23 September 2011 15:13:29
As the federal government continues to create ways of lowering the national budget deficit, create jobs and drag the struggling economy out of the tumultuous period it has been in for the past few years, cloud computing has been revered as a legitimate remedy. Though some government officials and IT experts have doubted the cloud's security and are slow to accept adoption, others are campaigning for the technology.
Information Week published an article earlier this week reporting on a panel of IT experts that testified on behalf of cloud computing in front of the House Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation. The panel's tone was sharp, asserting that the future of the U.S. economy, especially with regard to competitiveness, will be heavily dependent on the government's ability to initiate a federal cloud.
This is not the first time renowned IT experts have urged the federal government to adopt the technology, as Vivek Kundra, the first federal chief information officer appointed by President Obama in 2009, created the Cloud First Policy. According to the Office of the Federal CIO's website, Kundra instituted multiple initiatives to expedite government adoption of the cloud.
Kundra's plan established that every federal agency would have to move at least one of their services to a cloud-based system, while 20 percent of the federal IT budget would be allocated toward adoption of the service.
The General Services Administration was quick to answer this challenge, as last May it announced a complete change of its email service to the cloud, a move that the agency believes will save it $15 million over the next five years.
According to Information Week, the panel explained how cloud computing services will allow the government to improve methods of data allocation and sharing, while establishing a method in which new technology is commoditized.
"The cloud is the foundation of the 21st century digital economy that's ours to lose," one of the panelists explained the the committee.
As for the most popular question holding back the industry - security - the panelists explained that because the cloud begets an opportunity to establish a much more centralized system for both national and international data, the technology has the potential to vastly improve the security of data.
If industry experts could prove the enhanced security within the cloud, adoption will likely sky rocket, as the Identity Theft Resource Center cites the federal government has fallen victim to almost 40 breaches, resulting in more than 5.1 million exposed sensitive files, since January 1.
-McAfee Cloud Security