Thursday, October 27, 2011 6:29:26 PM
The U.S. government has been aggressively procuring cloud computing services to reduce federal IT costs and improve overall efficiency. The United Kingdom has likewise made government cloud computing a top priority, as The Register reports the technology has once again made it to the top of the UK government's agenda.
"We see this as a radical change in the government's approach to adopting technology, offering exciting opportunities for innovative products and services to be delivered to the public sector," Surreya Cansoy, of the Cabinet Office, told the news provider. "The industry has long championed the benefits that the cloud can bring as we believe it will open the doors to more flexible and lower cost solutions."
Some departments in the U.S. government, like the General Services Administration, have spearheaded the charge toward cloud computing. Earlier this year, the GSA announced it expects to save more than $15 million over the next five years just from transitioning its email services to the cloud. Officials in the GSA also explained that the flexibility for employees added by the cloud have already been beneficial.
The U.S. National Security Agency likewise announced its excitement to use cloud computing for its operations recently. Last week, the U.S. Cyber Command commander General Keith Alexander said that the cloud would not only offer benefits to cost and efficiency, but would also improve the transparency and security of defense and intelligence department's operations.
In the U.K., officials are still going back-and-forth about the overhaul of government IT spending toward the cloud.
"I don't see answers yet," David Wilde, chief information officer of the Essex county council, told The Register. "None of us want to spend a quarter of a million on a procurement, but it's got to be robust and competitive, and it's got to have a regard for the constitutional position of local authorities."
So far, the United States has not been timid with its cloud policies. As a result of former federal CIO Vivek Kundra's Cloud First Policy, the government aims to allocate a quarter of its total annual IT budget on cloud adoption, amounting to $20 billion. In the U.K., though, officials seem to still be unsure as to what the cloud actually is.
"Tell me what the cloud is there to do," Wilde added. "I would love to have that clarity come out of the Cabinet Office and Government Procurement Service."
-McAfee Cloud Security