Earlier this week I had the distinct pleasure and opportunity to have a private meeting with Mr. Vivek Kundra. Although my time with him and Mr. Gary Washington (OMB/Egov &IT Internal Efficiency and Effectiveness Portfolio Manager) was short, their focus and mission were perfectly clear.
Dominating Mr. Kundra's wall is a graphic showing the Federal IT spend for each agency. From my point of view, this was a statement that highlighted the Federal CIO's #1 goal - stop the practice of building silo’ed IT infrastructures in order to save money in the 2010 budget. After first peppering me with questions about my background and federal experience, Mr. Kundra asked me for recommendations on improving Federal IT procurement. My answers included the need to provide rewards for enhanced IT efficiency, agency incentives to reduce spending and of course, increased use of cloud computing. On that point, I stressed the need for interoperability, portability and standards. We also discussed my recommendation for a “Government PAAS”. Such a platform would be owned by the government and used by all agencies on the coming GovCloud. We also briefly discuss the need for strategic coordination between DoD and civilian agencies on a common cloud platform. Mr. Kundra and Mr. Washington thanked me for my input and suggested some further dialog with other government officials.
As if I needed the prodding, this short experience reinforces my personal views on the critical need for rapid adoption of cloud computing technologies and techniques by the federal establishment. In a few short week, the new administration has demonstrated its willingness to lead this important transition and I look forward to supporting their efforts in any way possible.