Why Is “Going to the Cloud” Such a Big Deal?

If there’s a word that’s getting thrown around A LOT lately, it’s “cloud.” Seriously, it had to be one of the most over-used words in 2010 and it’s looking to be an even more prevalent part of government talk in 2011. In fact, last week an article in Government Technology article entitled “Top 10 Predictions for 2011,” pulled the following prognosis from a new IDC Government Insights report:

Cloud computing — private and public — will reach critical mass, achieving penetration across applications, services, storage and systems management in 25 percent of government organizations by the end of 2011.

But why is cloud computing such a big deal?

I understand that it can achieve cost savings, create more agile information technology systems and facilitate a more open and collaborative government, but here’s my challenge to anyone talking about cloud:

Tell me very specifically: How is cloud computing transforming government? Let’s shed the stock marketing language and share concrete examples of how cloud computing has been applied to the various facets of government – from HR to acquisitions to budgeting and auditing – to make a real difference on behalf of citizens.

In other words, let’s talk about it in ways that help citizens understand how government is using technology to make their lives better and make better use of their tax dollars.

Toward that end, GovLoop is hosting a two-part webinar series called “Harness the Power of the Cloud” each of the next two Thursdays at 2p ET (sponsored by our partner Microsoft). Here are some of the specs:

Part 1 – Intro to Cloud (Thu, Jan 27)

  • Defining the Cloud – Cloud Basics, Public/Private Cloud
  • Benefits of the Cloud
  • Considerations for Moving to the Cloud

Steve Ressler, Founder of GovLoop
Anil Karmel, Solutions Architect, Los Alamos National Lab
Sonny Hashmi, former Deputy CIO, OCFO at DC Government
Scott Derby, Office 365 Specialist, Microsoft

Part 2 – Implementing Your Cloud Strategy (Thu, Feb 3)

  • The Cloud Roadmap (from servers, to data center consolidation, to Private Cloud, to Hybrid/Public Cloud )
  • Shifting to the Cloud – getting your environment ready
  • Which Cloud is Right for Your Agency? (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS & public/private)


…coming soon

You can sign up here.

I plan to attend…and look forward to hearing, in particular, from Anil and Sonny regarding some of their case studies and concrete examples. And I’d love to hear yours below!

Photo Credit: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3160/3044253729_58b8e5fae8_z.jpg?zz=1

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Avatar photo Bill Brantley

I’m surprised no one from GSA has answered you yet considering they are making the jump to GMail. Anyway you may want to check out Campus Technology’s website because they have had numerous stories concerning the lessons higher education has learned in moving to the cloud. Although public universities are tangentially government there might be some valuable insights in moving a large population of users from internal network services to cloud-based services.