Cloud Computing Figures Prominently in Fed Budget

If you’ve been living under a rock lately, I guess you haven’t heard the news about U.S. President Barack Obama’s $3.8 trillion budget – along with a post-WWII record deficit of $1.6 trillion for the current fiscal year.

But what hasn’t been discussed much is that government IT spending will account for $79.4 billion of Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget. That’s just over a one percent increase from the spending planned for this year. And much of the boost will go to the implementation of cloud computing systems – across the government.

According to, Federal CIO Vivek Kundra is a champion of cloud computing, and he believes that it’ll solve many of the government’s data center problems.

Right now, the government has over 1,000 data centers, nearly triple the number in 1998. It wants to reverse that trend, and expects to save billions over the next several years, edlconsulting quotes Newsweek as saying.

The U.S. government launched, a platform for federal agencies to access cloud applications, in late 2009, and it is expected to be a major cost-cutter and encourage innovation.

Yes, the numbers are big and represent significant costs for U.S. taxpayers. But government cloud computing is the savvy way for governments around the world to cut IT costs and improve service. Just consider the results of a recent survey of 159 enterprises by Enterprise Management Associates. The survey found that six in 10 cloud computing users have been able to reduce their IT capital costs. And 25% lowered their capital expenditures and operational expenditures, particularly staff, power, rent and maintenance.

Even if it contributes to the deficit, this is a good investment, Obama! Future ROI will definitely cover the investment – and more.