Leadership in Cloud: The US Has a Prime Opportunity

By: Kia Behnia


The rise of cloud computing presents the latest opportunity for the US to build on its long history as a leader in technology innovation.


I participated in a panel discussion BMC hosted yesterday on this topic alongside colleagues from Adobe Systems, Cisco Systems, Harris Corp. and Red Hat, Inc.   Cloud2.jpgThis panel was held in conjunction with the publishing of TechAmerica’sCommission on the Leadership Opportunity in U.S. Deployment of the Cloud(CLOUD2) report during a press conference in Washington DC


The Commission’s report proposes recommendations drawn from the best practices of experienced academic institutions and technology organizations,such as BMC, to be used by the Federal Government in the adoption of cloudcomputing.


Technology has always been a friend to address budget problems, which is one of the reasons the adoption of cloud computing is so important now for federal, state and local governments.


While the financial benefits of utilizing cloud computing within the government are clear, the Commission’s report also sheds light on best practices that if adopted in both the public and private sector establish principles by which all cloud initiatives could be guided.


Highlights of these findings include:

  • Transformation: Cloud computing transforms the way IT supports business needs. Private, public and hybrid clouds provide greater agility and flexibility to support diverse organizational needs. Agencies should be flexible in adapting existing purchasing standards to allow for cloud adoption, and agencies should be incentivized and rewarded for moving to cloud.


  • Trust” in Cloud Computing: For government agencies – or private enterprises – to place faith in the cloud, we have to establish international standardized frameworks to secure, assess, certify and accredit cloud solutions. They must be confident in cloud’s ability to meet their needs.


  • Transparency: Vendors must promote choice by being open and conforming to agreed upon industry standards and best practices. Service providers should disclose information about operational aspects of their services, including portability, interoperability, security, certifications, performance and reliability.


  • Transnational Data Flows:Globalization has resulted in multi-directional data flows and an exploding volume of data sources and stakeholders. This adds complexity to cloud adoption because of the data, processes, and people residing on multiple continents with different laws and cultures.


In my role as a Cloud Commissioner, I have met with many agency representatives and members ofboth parties.  My conclusion is that the adoption of cloud computing is an unstoppable tide, thus the focus now is on doing it quickly and correct, not in stopping it.

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