For the U.S. government, the transition to cloud computing is a marathon, not a sprint.
Agencies are taking baby-steps towards their adoption of the data storage service in the sky in order to ensure that full security measures are taken to protect the government from outside attackers.
While it is predicted that the full transition to the cloud will take 10 years, Internet companies are competing now for most advanced services.
Companies like Google are working quickly to provide cloud computing services that are stable and secure. These services could potentially reduce energy consumption, increase employee productivity and save taxpayers money.
Mike Bradshaw, head of Google’s federal cloud computing program, sees the government’s implementation of cloud computing as a crucial advancement to the way federal agencies operate.
“The cloud can allow teleworkers to easily and securely access their data and work from wherever they happen to be,” he said during a congressional hearing held to weigh the benefits and risks of cloud computing.
The main obstacle remains the security of the cloud. Concerns over global cyber attacks have many lawmakers worried. However, as cyber defense programs continue to work towards a strong shield against cyber threats, the future of cloud computing becomes more stable.
U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra touched on this issue during the hearing.”As we move to the cloud, we must be vigilant in our efforts to ensure the security of government information, protect the privacy of our citizens, and safeguard our national security interests,” he said.
The first of the steps taken by the government was last year’s opening of an office to coordinate transition efforts across departments to the cloud.
The next steps being taken are heading towards a more efficient direction. The National Institute of Standards and Technology is developing standards and the Government Services Administration is forming guidelines for a streamlined process for agencies to transition.