Cloud computing is widely regarded as offering improved flexibility, reduced costs and greater scalability.
According to a recent infoZine report, the cloud can help to save both money and data and is now being implemented by the U.S. federal government for precisely these reasons.
At a recent Tech Class of 2011 presentation, federal CIO Vivek Kundra argued for wide-scale government adoption of new technologies. His first day as CIO in the White House, Kundra said, was like traveling back "about a decade in time," the report said.
According to Kundra, the government – like other organizations – would do well to streamline its IT infrastructure. It could save considerable money by migrating data storage to the cloud, as well as shifting IT resources to a centralized network, rather than individual computers or on-premise servers.
Kundra pointed to effective implementations of cloud computing that have already presented benefits. Two government agencies, he said, were able to save the government approximately $40 million by shifting their email services to a cloud-based model.
"Imagine the possibilities when we start going after financial systems inside the federal government," Kundra said.
According to the report, cloud computing has grown rapidly in the consumer sector. Some businesses, however, remain concerned about cloud computing security, especially in light of recent cyber attacks on Google's Gmail service and Sony's Playstation Network.
Kundra argued that, while security is a central consideration for all IT decisions, the cloud is no more vulnerable to attacks than other IT solutions. "In some cases," he said, "I would argue that there are some agencies that I would actually want in the cloud because their current security practices are horrible."
Vivek Kundra has promoted federal cloud adoption since taking up his position as federal CIO. Under a "cloud first" policy that he initiated, all government agencies are required to begin adopting cloud-based IT solutions.