This year's top government technology story was cloud computing, said Ed Meagher, former deputy CIO at the Interior Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs and currently vice president of healthcare strategy at CSC.
Several agencies — including GSA, USDA and Treasury — have put their email service or website in the cloud.
Meagher said cloud computing is becoming not only associated with data center consolidation but with government IT on a whole. Especially in the age of austerity, the cloud can offer cost-savings, he said.
“People have heard cloud computing for years, and now all of a sudden this is money,” Meagher said.
He added, “It's a big game-changer.”
As more move to the cloud, agencies will have to “get serious” about security, he said.
“Up until now, we've been putting patches on Bandaids on patches,” Meagher said.
This is a promising outlook for those of us that have built their business on and around the cloud.
I still see some hesitation from larger agencies and corporations from moving the majority of their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) activities to an external hosting agency with limited security controls, especially with all of the compliance challenges that affect government agencies and their computing.
That, however, opens a huge window of opportunity for private (internal clouds).
By definition, I see private clouds as a computing environment that can be deployed inside an organization's own firewall while adding layers of infrastructure management and support to ensure compliance and security needs are met.
I think that 2011 will bring about a much larger adoption of the virtual private cloud – a hosted solution, off-premises of a business, that provides dedicated servers that still achieve security, throughput, and availability requirements.
All that being said…2011 should be a “cloudy” year[story summarized from FederalNewsRadio.com]