Without a doubt one of the most talked about trends in the industry these days is the cloud. According to the International Data Group (IDG), “Its changed the fundamental nature of computing and how business gets done;” so much so that “by 2020 clouds will stop being referred to as "public" and "private" and ultimately they will stop being called clouds altogether. It is simply the new way business is done and IT is provisioned.”
For now; however, we do still talk about the public and private cloud, or some combination of the two in a hybrid model. More and more, we are also talking about specialized clouds, which have been optimized for specific use cases. A prime example of a specialized cloud is the government cloud implementation.
In December 2010, the “Cloud First” policy was introduced as part of “A 25-Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT Management,” released by the U.S. Chief Information Officer. The policy mandated that U.S. agencies take full advantage of cloud computing benefits as a way to maximize capacity utilization, improve IT flexibility and responsiveness, and minimize cost. Fast forward to 2014 though and a majority of U.S. government IT spending was still focused on on-premise, legacy solutions. As it turns out, a lot has changed since 2014 and that may no longer be the case.
A report just released by Forbes Insights, in association with Microsoft, provides strong evidence that government agencies are just about at the tipping point when it comes to cloud adoption. In fact, according to the report, “From Promise to Reality: How Local, State and Federal Government Agencies Achieve Results in the Cloud,” the number and form of cloud installations in government is actually poised for explosive growth.
The key reason for the building momentum is that over the last few years many government agencies have gained experience in the cloud on a limited or pilot basis, and in doing so achieved some rather noteworthy results. Check out this link for details on how government agencies are achieving success in the cloud).
Agencies at all levels of government have realized cost savings, scalability and device agnosticism. They’ve also overcome concerns about data security; in many cases enjoying security better than what they had with their previous solutions. Ultimately, it is real-world successes like this from the Department of Defense, the State of Alabama and others, that are helping to turn the tide in the government cloud’s favor.
For more information on government cloud implementations go to http://www.microsoft.com/government. Here you can check out various resources on how the cloud is transforming government and government cloud adoption. There’s also a series of blogs, videos and webinars to choose from. You can even download a free trial of the Microsoft Cloud for Government; a cloud designed for the U.S. government from the ground up that enables organizations to select the best tools to solve their unique problems, whether a large agency or a small town government.
This blog about storage and networking is sponsored by Microsoft.
Cheryl J. Ajluni is a freelance writer and editor based in California. She is the former Editor-in-Chief of Wireless Systems Design and served as the EDA/Advanced Technology editor for Electronic Design for over 10 years. She is also a published book author and patented engineer. Her work regularly appears in print and online publications. Contact her at [email protected] with your comments or story ideas.