According to Steve Towns at Government Technology,”cloud computing” is among the developments that have received the most attention in government in recent memory. It is, one might say, the LeBron James of government technology… lots of hype, but no championships… yet
It’s hard to think of a technology that’s received more hype over the past few years than cloud computing. Vendors have tripped over one another in a rush to unveil new offerings and reposition existing services as cloud-based solutions. CIOs and other public officials have made high-profile announcements of large-scale cloud deployments.
As Towns’s colleague Merrill Douglas pointed out last week, the migration to the cloud is not without its complications. To stick with the analogy you can’t just simply “take your talents” to the cloud and automatically expect it to start winning championships.
When Los Angeles switched from a software-based e-mail platform to Gmail in 2009, for example, it encountered security concerns.
“Certainly going first was difficult, just because there were no real models to look at,” Levin said. Google and the city had to work out issues such as what data to move to the new platform and how to accomplish that transfer, she said.
Also important was figuring out how to ensure that the city’s data would stay private and secure. In fact, that’s the reason the LAPD has not yet migrated to Gmail.
Don’t get me wrong, the cloud is awesome and could be a complete game changer for your team just like a great player like James is, but hype doesn’t equal the hard work needed to get the W’s. The point is, no one player has ever won or lost a game. And no one technology is enough to make or break an agency. When trying to decide whether or not to make the switch, be sure to take into account how well-suited cloud computing is for your team and what it will take to complete the migration successfully.
What do you feel is the #1 thing to consider before making a big investment in technology?