Monday, October 31, 2011 5:06:40 PM
Economic hardships and federal deficits have led many governments to consider overhauls of their IT services in recent years, and many have met cloud computing with open arms. The Portland Business Journal recently published an article explaining that many Oregon local and state level government offices have begun switching their IT services to the cloud.
According to the source, just under 70 external websites and the entirety of email services for the Multnomah County government in Oregon are currently hosted on cloud platforms. Additionally, the state government uses cloud services to map geographic data, as well as store and manage any information that accumulates through the studies.
While many organizations fear the security capabilities of the cloud, experts assert that as the industry evolves and executives grow more comfortable with the technology, more businesses and agencies will adopt the services. Additionally, the Cloud Security Alliance, a non-profit group of cloud computing industry leaders, is working to help push comfort levels in the right direction.
The CSA recently created the Security, Trust and Assurance Register, which will serve as a standard form for vendors to fill out and prospective consumers to read. CSA hopes the STAR initiative will foster a more standardized industry, while helping consumers decide the best practices for adopting services from vendors.
The city of Portland, Oregon, has also considered using cloud systems to facilitate its emergency services, the website added. Many of these programs can be found in other parts of the nation, while the federal government has been spearheading the charge for more public sector adoption of cloud computing to improve overall budgets and streamline operations.
In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed the first ever federal chief information officer to help improve the IT practices of the government. Vivek Kundra, the first federal CIO, initiated the Cloud First Policy, which aims to overhaul federal IT spending toward rapid and widespread adoption of the technology throughout federal agencies.
Already, the General Services Administration has witnessed impressive savings and improved efficiency after adopting cloud computing for its email services. The GSA expects the move to usher in around $15 million in savings over the next five years.
More success stories will likely lead to a broader adoption rate. Recently, the U.S. Department of Defense's Cyber Command commander, General Keith Alexander, expressed his excitement for cloud services in regard to improving transparency and data security in the nation's defense programs.
-McAfee Cloud Security