The TechAmerica Foundation released it's recommendations from the State and Local Government Cloud Commission (SLG-CC) that will assist state and local governments in navigating the adoption of cloud computing. The roadmap is designed for state and local officials who seek to deliver better service and cost savings to their constituents. This practical guidance and set of recommendations comes from the leading thinkers on cloud computing.
"Businesses and institutions across the nation have transformed their IT using the cloud, improving their ability to communicate, deliver value, and be competitive. Now is the time for these benefits to accrue to state and local governments as well. What's been missing is a playbook -- and we're delivering that, based on a unique and powerful collaboration of 38 leading technology companies to create better collaboration within and between government agencies; resulting in better services and costs to governments and citizens," said Tarkan Maner, Commission Chair and President and CEO of Wyse Technology.
In addition to the report, the Commission is today unveiling a portal ( www.cloud4slg.org ) that will capture and share leading practices and emerging trends as cloud computing deployment advances in states and localities. The cloud is being pitched as the best way to do more with less, but government agencies are slow to modernize.
The Commission's report is the result of a unique and powerful collaboration between representatives of 38 leading technology companies and a dozen leading government officials, such as: ACS, A Xerox Company; AT&T; CA Technologies; Capgemini Government Solutions; CGI; Cisco; Cognizant Technology Solutions; Dell; Deloitte Consulting LLP; EMC Corporation; Google; Grant Thornton; HP; IBM; Infosys Public Services; Intel Corporation; KPMG; Lockheed Martin; Microsoft; Morphlabs; nCircle; Oracle Corporation; Panasonic System Networks; SAIC; SAP AG; Symantec Corporation; Syntel; TransLattice, Inc.; Trend Micro; Unisys Corporation; Verizon; Virtustream; and Wyse Technology and many more.
Under section, "Understanding the Technology for Cloud Computing", the report addresses the major technical issues to consider when migrating to a cloud computing environment. Sample recommendations on cloud technologies include:
Selecting the right deployment and service models should be a primary consideration; Authentication must be managed across all cloud environments; Cloud environments should include identity management and related user protection capabilities; and encourage cloud providers to limit the use of proprietary tools and storage platforms. Adding to this, other section titled "Implementing the Cloud", proposes a four-stage management structure for transition to cloud. The recommendations includes-
Create a multiphase strategy for cloud computing adoption and deployment; Build an inventory of applications to be moved to the cloud; Analyze process and financial impacts, gaps, efficiencies; and determine how cloud computing will impact current technical operations and architecture considerations.
Cloud computing is not all about gold an diamonds, instead it has some storms and thunder deep inside. Cloud computing has the potential to benefit federal and state governments, but issues such as privacy need to be addressed first, according to federal communications minister, Stephen Conroy. Conroy told that many already prefer to engage with government agencies online. "According to our research, 47 per cent of Australians made their most recent contact with government agencies online," he said.
Conroy acknowledged that the public have concerns about Cloud computing and government use, security and privacy in particular. "Service level agreements [SLAs] and contract conditions from trail blazing vendors are challenging consumers," Conroy said. "What we know is that demand for Cloud products and services will grow rapidly. Rising to the challenge is something that we need to do right across government and partnering with the private sector is key."