Yesterday I thoroughly enjoyed an opportunity to participate in the DorobekINSIDER LIVE edition on cloud computing. The conversation was both lively and informative. Joining me on the show were:
- Jim Sweeney, author of the book Get Your Head in the Cloud: Unlocking the Mystery for Public Sector and President and CTO of V3 Systems.
- Patrick Fiorenza, Senior Research Analyst, GovLoop. He is writing the GovLoop Guide on cloud computing.
This event was the ninth edition of DorobekINSIDER Live and the focus was looking at the progress agencies have made in moving to the cloud.
Some of the key points addressed include:
Why Does Cloud Matter?
Sweeney: I've read so many cases studies that feature government at all levels using cloud to improve their efficiency and speed. Take the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board for example. Cloud is important because it shows the shift from products to services.
Jackson: What is really different about cloud computing is it changes the way we deal with IT. Cloud is:
- Agile: the cloud should be reevaluated and changed every day, week, month or year. It is not a static product.
- Efficient: the cloud is efficient because you can apply parallel processes.
- Global: by nature cloud is a global enterprise.
"Cloud computing is a new business model. It is driving the cultural change in government to a service management mindset," said Jackson. "CIOs have to not only have the technical capabilities but they also have to know how to manage financial disclosures in the cloud, know how to change to a new provider and re-deploy data to the cloud. Federal CIOs Vivek Kundra and Steven VanRoekel with their Cloud First and Share First policies are really driving the need to reduce costs and increase efficiency in the cloud. It is not about if agencies will go to the cloud, but how."
Do more with less with cloud?
Sweeney: Do more with nothing is more like it. The do more with less saying has been the mantra for IT shops for a long time. But by using cloud IT departments don't have to reinvent the wheel each time. So it saves time and money.
Jackson: I think although time and money are huge factors the other big development with cloud was seeing how it impacts the mission. How by using cloud services agencies could show increased deliverables on mission. The issue comes in the form of procurement. How do you change the policies on IT contracts? This is all new and the policies need to be changed and modified. Cloud procurement is a 180 degree shift from the waterfall acquisition approach.
Sweeney: New providers are coming into the market and taking major contracts away from traditional providers. The question is now, how can we become more rapid while still be secure? Agencies that are using cloud to build-up that security are the real winners.
Changing role of the CIO?
Sweeney: If CIOs don't evolve and embrace cloud technologies their employees will go around them. Take the Dropbox example. Dropbox is technically verboten at agencies, but all the employees use it. They want to be able to access documents anywhere on any device. People say if IT won't provide me with a solution I will go around you. That is dangerous for an organization.
Jackson: This phenomenon is called shadow IT. People have a real desire to solve problems and if policies are too slow, they find alternative ways to get it done.
Listen to the full show below!
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