Federal CIO pushes for cloud computing adoption

One prominent IT expert recently delivered a ringing endorsement of cloud computing services: 

Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel recently announced a government-wide push for the greater adoption of “IT as a service.” In other words VanRokel said, government agencies should move away from making IT investments for individual projects and toward deploying IT services for consumption agency-wide.

A key part of that strategy is a greater adoption of cloud computing, which VanRoekel says give agencies and scalable and transparent way to provision IT services.

This isn’t the first time federal government officials have advocated for greater use of cloud computing. In 2011, after cloud adoption had first really started taking off, Vivek Kundra, the federal CIO at the time, recommended government agencies increase their adoption of cloud computing services.

Kundra even went so far as to say that CIOs’ cloud security concerns were overblown. Security was and continues to be one of the biggest factors keeping organizations out of the cloud. However, Kundra said during forum on cloud computing that fears about cloud security were being amplified by those benefit from preserving the status.

Overall, according to Kundra, IT projects cost too much, take too long and don’t meet the needs of government agencies. He believed cloud computing could help improve efficiency and agility, just as many decision makers in private companies do.

VanRoekel’s announcement came with the beginning of the PortfolioStats program from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which is a government-wide directive for IT leaders in federal agencies to take a closer look at their IT spending and improve efficiency and cut costs.

The impact of the PortfolioStats program is expected to be significant — VanRoekel had predicted that by the end of March, government agencies participating in the program would report a total of $300 million in savings for their IT budgets.

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