Speaking at a White House event, federal government chief information officer Vivek Kundra recently said the government has now met several of the goals laid out in the IT restructuring initiative in began last year.
Called "cloud first," the initiative calls for all government agencies to begin migrating their IT systems to cloud computing models. At the White House event, Kundra told his audience the government has now met seven out of the 25 goals set by the plan.
Many analysts have suggested government enthusiasm for the cloud indicates that cloud computing security can be done well. While in its early days some believed that cloud computing could not be as secure as on-premise IT solutions, federal government adoption may indicate the cloud can be leveraged in highly security-sensitive contexts.
According to Kundra, 15 government agencies have now indicated they plan to move their email systems to the cloud. This, he said, translates to a total of 100 email systems, incorporating approximately 950,000 email accounts altogether. The General Services Administration plans to unveil a $2.5 billion procurement in May to acquire the necessary cloud-based email infrastructure, Kundra said.
Kundra indicated that the two most popular services for cloud migration so far have been email and collaboration tools. A number of government agencies have already adopted cloud-based email systems, including the GSA, the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Army.
Kundra noted, however, that several agencies have also adopted other cloud computing services. The USDA, for example, is exploring workflow solutions for document management, while the Department of Justice aims to consolidate 250 offices' storage systems in a cloud computing solution.
First announced in 2010, the government's "cloud first" policy calls for all government agencies to adopt at least one cloud-based service by December 2011 and up to three cloud services by June 2012.