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Federal Cloud Computing: Mixed Reviews on CloudFirst Progress – Security Concerns are a Road Block

By Dick Weisinger

Last year the US Federal government spent nearly $2 billion on cloud computing according to IDC.  The Federal government is attempting to implement a CloudFirst policy which it says that “our responsibility in government is to achieve the significant cost, agility and innovation benefits of cloud computing as quickly as possible. ”

But there are conflicting reports out now about how well the government is really doing in its move to the cloud.

On the one hand, a report from Microsoft and Forbes found the government is making good progress in adopting cloud technologies.  Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer at Forbes Media, said that “government agencies are achieving remarkable results in the cloud.  Leaders like the City of Miami, the State of Alabama and the Department of Defense are demonstrating that the cloud can deliver vast improvements in the quality of government.”

That’s one view.  On the other hand, a report by Dell and Dimensional Research said that about 80 percent of government agencies say that their concern about insecurity of cloud computing will be a roadblock that prevents them from moving to the cloud.  This thinking comes in the wake of an increasing number of security breaches.  In June, for example, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) reported a breach exposed information on 4.2 million employees.

In order to continue progress with the CloudFirst policy the government will need to come up with a workable strategy for handling security.




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