An Expanding Role for the U.S. in Cloud Development?

A short paper I read recently speculates that it would be good for the U.S. government to provide seed money to cloud-based industries just being developed. The argument there is that government should promote low-interest capital or R&D funds to the cloud to keep us (meaning America) in the IT lead among world players.

I think it’s a noble idea, and it reminds me of the call throughout history for the U.S. to step up support of other industries – especially faced with competition from abroad. Remember the “super-computing” race with Japan? Heck, even as a kid, I remember going to new science and phys-ed classes because the government was worried that the Soviets were passing us by in those areas.

More noble is the idea that the feds be blind (like the statue of Justice) when it comes to doling out the capital. In other words, it shouldn’t all go to Microsoft (who, with Hewlett-Packard, just announced a $250 million deal to develop hard- and soft-ware solutions for the cloud).

I hardly think that tech giants MS and HP should exclusively get government seed money to develop cloud solutions, and the analysis that I read from Gerson Lehman Group makes a point that support “must be open to all companies, including IBM, ORACLE/Sun Microsystems, CISCO,  Google,  VMWare, Yahoo, Juniper Networks, Amazon and all other technology firms in US who are promoting advanced technology.”

The piece correctly points out that security and privacy “are still major issues” that are affecting widespread adoption of cloud computing services by businesses. So, combined with the idea that government can be an equal spreader of cloud wealth and development, there is the need, too, for Uncle Sam to act as the setter of standards – particularly around security and privacy of data.

Higher standards can only mean good things for businesses providing cloud services, such as transaction or website monitoring, as well as end users!