Monday, February 14, 2011

U.S. Federal Cloud Computing Strategy released

Last week, the Chief Information Officer of the United States released the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy, which outlines how the federal government anticipates saving money, increasing the efficiency of its IT operations, and delivering better service to the public via cloud computing.

This strategy, which will help federal agencies migrate at least some of their IT infrastructure to commercial or government cloud environments, is intended to:
  • Articulate the benefits, considerations, and trade-offs of cloud computing
  • Provide a decision framework and case examples to support agencies in migrating towards cloud computing
  • Highlight cloud computing implementation resources
  • Identify Federal Government activities and roles and responsibilities for catalyzing cloud adoption (p. 2)
I haven't had the chance to give this document a close reading and likely won't have the chance to do so for a couple of weeks, but I have skimmed it and was pleased to note the following:
Storing information in the cloud will require a technical mechanism to achieve compliance with records management laws, policies and regulations promulgated by both the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the General Services Administration (GSA). The cloud solution has to support relevant record safeguards and retrieval functions, even in the context of a provider termination (p. 14) [emphasis added]
As a state government employee, I'm also intrigued by this statement:
Federal Government contracts will also provide riders for state and local governments. These riders will allow all of these governments to realize the same procurement advantages of the Federal Government. Increasing membership in cloud services will further drive innovation and cost efficiency by increasing market size and creating larger efficiencies-of-scale (p. 29) [emphasis added].
And this one:
To effectively manage these governance issues in the long-term, the Federal Government needs to lay a stable governance foundation that will outlast single individuals or administrations. To the best extent possible, individuals or committees should have explicitly defined roles, non-overlapping responsibilities, and a clear decision-making hierarchy. These steps will empower the government for action, minimize unnecessary bureaucracy, and ensure accountability for results.

The following bodies will therefore have these roles and responsibilities:
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will lead and collaborate with Federal, State, and local government agency CIOs, private sector experts, and international bodies to identify and prioritize cloud computing standards and guidance . . . . (p. 31) [emphasis added]
I'm looking forward to seeing how all of this plays out.


records management said...

It's wonderful that the government releases this information to the public. It allows people to keep track of where tax payer dollars are spent, and verify that solutions are adequate.

Aldus Logan said...

Great information you have provide here. I like it and happy to see it.
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