U.S. federal government CIO Vivek Kundra is an outspoken proponent of cloud computing. Earlier this year, he announced the launch of a new government IT strategy that calls for extensive adoption of cloud-based solutions in government agencies.
Speaking at a recent cloud computing forum at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland, Kundra told an audience the adoption of cloud computing by federal government agencies is no longer a question of “if,” but rather “when.”
According to a recent Fierce Government IT report, Kundra acknowledged that some challenges remain in the field, including questions relating to cloud computing security. These, however, can be resolved, he claimed.
Kundra also raised the related issue of data sovereignty. As a growing number of cloud computing solutions involve storing data in locations overseas, this will have legal implications for the status of that data, as well as legal requirements for its protection.
According to Kundra, however, “some people have overly dramatized the challenges.” For some cloud computing security issues, the answer will not lie in new technology, Kundra claimed. Rather, it will involve innovation in the field of international law.
Data sovereignty, he said, “is going to be a question of international law and treaties that we will need to engage in the coming years.”
While formulating international standards for cloud computing security will require work, efforts are already underway toward a solution, Kundra said. The World Economic Forum, the European Union and the United States are currently discussing a variety of privacy and cloud computing security norms.
Kundra noted the differences that still exist between regions and countries. “We’ve got a very diverse interpretation and a very diverse perspective when it comes to privacy or international security, if you look at our neighbors – Canada or Mexico – versus what’s happening in the European Union,” he said.
According to CIO.gov, Kundra’s strategy for government IT, which involves deployment of cloud computing solutions, predicts the U.S. government will be able to reduce IT spending by approximately 30 percent if it deploys cloud computing solutions. According to Fierce Government IT, this could translate into a reduction of approximately $7.2 billion in federal IT spending.