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TechAmerica: Gov Should Move to the Cloud

Today, the TechAmerica Foundation released its report, Commission on the Leadership Opportunity in U.S. Deployment of the Cloud. It is a guide for the Obama Administration on “how government should deploy cloud technologies and for public policies that will help drive U.S. innovation in the cloud.” This continues a series of pushes for government to move into the cloud. U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra called for a cloud strategy with his Cloud First Initiative and 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology Management. Additionally, local governments already are looking to share solutions via technology in the face of deep budget and staff cuts.

The recommendations were developed by a commission of 71 thought leaders and experts from industry and academia, co-chaired by Marc Benioff (Chairman and CEO of salesforce.com) and Michael Capellas (Chairman and CEO of VCE)

The report’s 14 recommendations are below, separated into categories of Trust, Transnational Data Flows, Transparency, and Transformation. You can find the full report “Commission on the Leadership Opportunity in U.S. Deployment of the Cloud (CLOUD2)” here.


1. Security & Assurance Frameworks: Government and industry should support and participate in the development and implementation of international, standardized frameworks for securing, assessing, certifying and accrediting cloud solutions.

2. Identity Management: Industry and government should accelerate the development of a private sector-led identity management ecosystem as envisioned by the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) to facilitate the adoption of strong authentication technologies and enable users to gain secure access to cloud services and websites.

3. Responses to Data Breaches: Government should enact a national data breach law to clarify breach notification responsibilities and commitments of companies to their customers, and also update and strengthen criminal laws against those who attack computer systems and networks, including cloud computing services.

4. Research: Government, industry, and academia should develop and execute a joint cloud computing research agenda.


5. Privacy: The U.S. government and industry should promote a comprehensive, technology-neutral privacy framework, consistent with commonly accepted privacy and data protection principles-based frameworks such as the OECD principles and/or APEC privacy frameworks.

6. Government/Law Enforcement Access to Data: The U.S. government should demonstrate leadership in identifying and implementing mechanisms for lawful access by law enforcement or government to data stored in the cloud.

7. E-Discovery and Forensics: Government and industry should enable effective practices for collecting information from the cloud to meet forensic or e-discovery needs in ways that fully support legal due process while minimizing impact on cloud provider operations.

8. Lead by Example: The U.S. government should demonstrate its willingness to trust cloud computing environments in other countries for appropriate government workloads.


9. Transparency: Industry should publicly disclose information about relevant operational aspects of their cloud services, including portability, interoperability, security, certifications, performance and reliability. Industry and Government should support development of metrics designed to meet the needs of different user groups. These metrics should be developed in an open and transparent environment, taking into account the global nature of cloud use.

10. Data Portability: Cloud providers should enable portability of user data through documents, tools, and support for agreed-upon industry standards and best practices.


11. Federal Acquisition and Budgeting: Agencies should demonstrate flexibility in adapting existing procurement models to facilitate acquisition of cloud services and solutions. Congress and OMB should demonstrate flexibility in changing budget models to help agencies acquire cloud services and solutions.

12. Incentives: Government should establish policies and processes for providing fiscal incentives, rewards and support for agencies as they take steps towards implementing cloud deployments.

13. Improve Infrastructure: Government and industry should embrace the modernization of broadband infrastructure and the current move to IPv6 to improve the bandwidth and reliable connectivity necessary for the growth of cloud services.

14. Education/Training: Government, industry, and academia should develop and disseminate resources for major stakeholder communities to be educated on the technical, business, and policy issues around acquisition, deployment and operation of cloud services.

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