Sunday, September 20, 2009

FederalNewsRadio Highlights Government Cloud Computing

Last week's Apps.gov announcement was the latest steps in the government's "at the quick step" march into cloud computing. FederalNewsRadio, a Washington metro area media fixture, highlighted the event with an interview with GSA CIO Casey Coleman and the Associate Administrator for the GSA Office of Citizen Services, Dave McClure.

"This is just the beginning of a long, multi-year process for the federal government to realize the promise of cloud computing," said Coleman. "The Cloud will help to operate at a lower cost, to operate in a more sustainable, more green fashion and be able to implement solutions more quickly and get to mission values more rapidly which will help to serve the tax payers better."

McClure also explained that agencies will now have the option of buying a service. "It comes at a metered price based on usage, demand and capacity that you are shooting for. If you need more, you can buy more but you don't have to buy more than you need."

USA.gov is one of the first programs to use the cloud. According to McClure, so far the website has saved $1.7 million in infrastructure. He also highlighted the site's time efficiency stating that what used to take USA.gov weeks or months to update now takes just minutes or at most a day.
Ms. Coleman chimed in saying, "Agility is the number one benefit of cloud computing. Cost savings is number two."

Coleman also thinks the cloud may one day be even more secure than the current programs.

"There are not that many federal security experts out there so if we can put them all together, sharing information on the cloud, then they could protect the system even more than they do now."

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