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Can the Rain be Cleared from the Cloud?

cloud computingMany companies are designing new “cloud” offerings. However, each company has a different definition, which is leading to a lot of confusion and miscommunication. Before the cloud era moves forward, it is important to let the sun shine through and shed some light on the matter.

This is incredibly important for Federal IT executives, who are trying to improve service with a shrinking budget. The definition is trying to be cleared up with FedRAMP and other cloud regulatory clauses. Also, it’s not 100% guaranteed that moving to the cloud will lower cost. Therefore, another problem that will arise is once an organization moves to the cloud and the cost savings are not seen, how easy is it to get out of it? Dr. Paul Tibbits, Deputy CIO for Architecture, Strategy and Design at the VA, asked a similar question at the 1105 Media’s Enterprise Architecture Conference. Unisys’s Mark Cohn, answered it this way, “That’s an important question to ask, and if an agency doesn’t have that answer, it better be careful.”

The problem an agency will face if it does decide to move away from one cloud to another or to an on premise solution, is money and time. Migrating to the cloud takes time and migrating away will also take time. This is something executives need to consider, because if the cloud starts to rain, it could cost jobs. Khalid Kark, an analyst at Forrester Research, Inc., said “2013 is going to be a peak of investment in the cloud, and we’re going to see a huge maturation process in how the Federal government uses those investments.” If that is true, the way Federal agencies view the cloud is changing. They are starting to look to the cloud as friend and not foe. In my opinion, the true test will come when the first FedRAMP approved cloud provider is awarded. That being said, cloud vendors it’s off to the races with FedRAMP, and to the winner goes the spoils.

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