Originally published: October 30, 2011
Last updated: November 3, 2011 - 1:27pm
[Commentary] Remember the federal government's "cloud first" policy? A year ago, the Washington Post reported, "The [General Services Administration, the main procurement agency] is the first federal agency to make the Internet switch, and its decision follows the Office of Management and Budget's declaration last month that the government is now operating under a 'cloud-first' policy, meaning agencies must give priority to Web-based applications and services." Almost a year later, we're still waiting for cloud computing to show up in most government agencies. There are many reasons for the slow adoption of cloud computing in the federal government: the huge size of government IT, the long procurement cycles, and the lack of cloud computing talent in both government IT and its array of contractors.
The solution to this problem takes three steps:
- Provide funding. You can't get to the value without change, and change costs money.
- Work on changing the cultures in government IT. Perhaps this is an impossible task, but if the cultures of server ownership and IT fiefdoms don't fall by the wayside, cloud computing won't have much of a chance.
- Set and hold to deadlines. There are cloud mandates in place now; make sure they are enforced.
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