Cloud First Policy for the U.S. Federal Government

I was reviewing some of the social media activities coming out of the RSA Conference sessions today, including a talk by the U.S. Federal Government CIO, Vivek Kundra, in which he touched on the U.S. Federal Government and their work with cloud computing.

As part of this talk Kundra noted that there is a new paper available at the site which is part of the IT Reform Series called “Federal Cloud Computing Strategy”.  Looking at the paper I found some interesting information including that “an estimated $20 billion of the Federal Government’s $80 billion in IT spending is a potential for migration to cloud computing solutions”.  Additionally it goes onto say the Government has instituted a Cloud First policy, which requires agencies to evaluate safe, secure cloud computing options prior to making any new investments in IT.  While the paper is geared towards Federal government agencies, much of it is also applicable to what businesses must take into account when considering migrating to the cloud.

I think the paper provides some great information for those looking for an education on cloud computing in general.  I found many parallels in the paper to topics that have been covered here on the Cloud Conversations blog, such as details on the various cloud deployment models including private, public, or a hybrid combination.  There’s also a table in the paper that breaks down the benefits of cloud computing, bucketing them into efficiency, agility and innovation, and covering specifics such as ‘improved asset utilization’, ‘improved productivity’, and ‘near-instantaneous increases and reductions in capacity’.

The paper also covers the three service models frequently discussed here: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).  In a previous blog, I talked about a whitepaper discussing these three service categories and how Microsoft is uniquely capable of delivering across all of them through our Private Cloud, Windows Azure and Office 365 offerings. I’ve linked to this paper if you want a refresher.

Another interesting piece in the paper is on page 11 titled “Decision Framework for Cloud Migration” which lays out a Select, Provision and Manage framework for considering which applications and IT services to migrate to the cloud first.

Finally, I really loved a line from the conclusion of this paper as well as it relates to cloud computing, “To paraphrase Sir Arthur Eddington – the physicist who confirmed Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity – cloud computing will not just be more innovative than we imagine; it will be more innovative than we can imagine.”

Hope you find this information useful and if you’re looking for more information on what Microsoft has to offer in enterprise cloud computing, please check out the Cloud Power site here.  As always if you have comments or questions, please let me know.

Thanks - larry

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