My Cup of IT: Cloud Ch-Ching

By Steve O’Keeffe —

Senators Brown (R-Mass.) and Carper (D-Del.) don’t care for smoke and mirrors. They’re looking for the straight skinny on cloud at the MeriTalk Cloud Computing Brainstorm on April 25. The questions of the day. How much has the tax payer saved since OMB placed its big bet in 2010? What’s the potential for cloud to blow up the cost and flexibility limitations of today’s losing government IT equation? How can we learn from one another to accelerate the path to savings?
Attend to hear from Senator Brown; Senator Carper; Richard Spires, CIO DHS; and Mike Wash, CIO NARA. But, this ain’t just a Federal thing – states dig cloud too. We’ll hear from John Letchford, Commonwealth CIO Massachusetts; and Jim Sills, CIO Delaware. And, last but by no means least, we’ll hear from industry – after all, MeriTalk is all about public-private collaboration to improve government IT outcomes. Our all-star lineup includes speakers from Google and Microsoft – yes, we decided to put them on separate panels – as well as EMC and IBM.
We’ve been chasing the cloud savings numbers for some years. MeriTalk launched the Cloud Savings Calculator in February 2010. According to real IT budget numbers Feds have entered into the calculator, we could have saved between $2.1 and $3.3 billion by clouding steady-state programs, and wait for it – between $25.3 and $32.8 billion by clouding new IT investments over three years. That’s a lot of hamburgers – at the most aggressive, that’s $36.1 billion, with a B, in three years. So, even though you may recoil from “hype halitosis” associated with cloud, with these kind of savings in play it’s really worthwhile handing out the mouthwash and saddling up for another ride in the cloud corral. We all know IT budgets ain’t getting any bigger next year.
We’ve got a full afternoon on April 25. Starting before the Brainstorm, we kick off with the first meeting of the MeriTalk Cloud Computing Exchange at 11:30 a.m. at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. Stefan Leeb, cloud computing program manager at NOAA, will talk about the weather guys’ cloud-mail implementation. Then other Feds share their cloud experiences in the first of an ongoing series of quarterly roundtable discussions. It’s all about exchanging best practices to get to the cloud.
Next, we cross the road to the Capitol Visitor Center for the Cloud Computing Brainstorm – kick off at 2:30 p.m. with remarks from the Senators. Then the two government and industry panels.
We’re currently in the field with a survey to get answers to the Senators’ key questions:
  • How much has Uncle Sam saved with cloud?
  • Is Cloud First working?
  • What apps have agencies moved to the cloud?
  • What’s the cloud quotient two years from now?
  • What are the biggest cloud road blocks?
  • Who inside agencies is opposing?
And, here’s the “$64,000 question” – the 2013 Federal IT budget is $78.9 billion. What will Uncle Sam spend in 2016? Okay, that’s a lot of questions.
The Senators want to hear from you take the survey. Look forward to seeing you on the 25th.
Warning. Cloud will draw a crowd – space is limited. Forecast calls for clouds with a strong chance of savings.

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