The federal government has been talking about improving and consolidating its sprawling IT infrastructure since President Obama took office in 2009 and promptly appointed the nation's first-ever chief information officer.
That effort recently took another step in the right direction, when the U.S. General Services Administration, an independent agency that provides services to federal organizations, announced the release of several cloud-based services. The GSA released offerings for cloud-based data storage, virtual machines and web hosting, according to technology news provider InformationWeek.
All cloud services open for use by government organizations are available at Apps.gov.
"Apps.gov on Friday was updated to provide detailed information on each service and the list of vendors providing them, in addition to stepping agencies through the ordering process," Elizabeth Montalbano wrote for InformationWeek.
Also online, government agencies can access information for purchasing and the deploying the services, which can be no easy task. Of course, data security must be ensured when agencies implement hosted solutions.
From its introduction to the public sector, cloud security has been an issue for government organizations adopting the technology. That appears to have changed, given this latest news and the results of a new poll from government contractor Lockheed Martin, which showed that cloud computing security worries are not hindering adoption rates.
However, the GSA's release of the services was somewhat delayed by the complicated vendor-authorization process, GSA portfolio management division director Bill Lewis said. But the agency did meet its July deadline for offering services.
"To be fair, Lewis said last week that the GSA is working to reduce transaction time and the complexity of purchasing cloud solutions," said Montalbano.
According to previous comments made by Lewis, reducing the time and effort it takes for government agencies to deploy the cloud could hold the key to ensuring the organizations realize the technology's full potential.