Last updated: March 3, 2011 - 9:23am
An industry group with a record of shaping federal information technology policy has established a cloud computing commission to advise the White House on outsourcing more than $20 billion worth of IT services to the Web.
TechAmerica Foundation announced that the board will be co-chaired by the heads of two major Web services firms -- Salesforce.com Chief Executive Officer Marc Benioff and CEO Michael Capellas of VCE. Last month, the Obama Administration directed federal agencies to follow a "cloud-first" approach when budgeting computing resources. Instead of investing in new hardware and software licenses, agencies are expected to first consider paying for short-term subscriptions to computer programs, storage space and IT equipment hosted remotely on the servers of companies like Salesforce. The idea is that by consuming IT services on an as-needed basis, rather than maintaining in-house data centers, the government will boost the efficiency of its annual $80 billion IT budget. The commission will provide recommendations for how agencies should roll out cloud technologies and suggest changes to policies that might obstruct the government's goals, according to TechAmerica officials. Recently, the Software and Information Industry Association, which represents cloud providers, successfully urged the government to consider relaxing requirements under the so-called FedRAMP cloud security program that it said would slow installations.
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