In a press event on Tuesday at NASA Ames Research Center in California, Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Vivek Kundra unveiled apps.gov, an online storefront for federal agencies to browse and purchase cloud-based IT services. The Obama administration has long touted cloud computing as an effective means to take advantage of technology for less money, and promises this first project should streamline IT costs, while also demonstrating a strong commitment to embracing innovation to tackle increasingly complex IT issues.
We at Microsoft are very excited about this announcement and what it means for the public sector AND the role of cloud computing in the overall technology industry. Amitabh Srivastava, SVP Windows Azure at Microsoft, who was present at the industry roundtable following the press event, put it this way, â€œif there was any doubt that the era of cloud computing is alive in government, Kundra put those doubts to rest today in his announcement. Microsoft feels the White House is taking the correct approach by making cloud services available to government agencies, which will ultimately better serve citizens by leveraging technology innovations to run their organizations at lower costs, procure information technology more easily, and in a way that reduces government's ecological footprint. Microsoft looks forward to working with the federal government to make the cloud computing vision a reality. Government customers today seek -- and deserve -- a broad set of technology choices and solutions that address their diverse needs, which in most cases include both on-premise and cloud computing scenarios. As we work together to meet these needs, the industry must do so with the highest standards of interoperability, manageability and security safeguards.â€
Yes, as Amitabh notes, cloud computing has applications far beyond apps.gov, the federal governmentâ€™s first cloud computing project. Teresa Carlson, vice president, Microsoft Federal, recently wrote a blog post discussing the broad implications of cloud computing in the public sector that you should read to learn more about some of the work already underway: http://microsoftontheissues.com/cs/blogs/mscorp/default.aspx
What do you think? Let us know by posting a comment. As always, we look forward to hearing from you.