The US federal government seems under constant barrage in the press these days for its free-spending ways — skyrocketing national debt levels. And we’re certainly not used to hearing about the government actually saving money — versus wasting it.
But there’s one success story that few people hear about: the government’s effort to bring more efficiencies and cost savings to IT projects by migrating to cloud services and applications. On April 12th, U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra, among others, testified before U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee about the advances being made in that direction.
It’s truly astonishing the money that’s being saved. Wish we could duplicate those efforts elsewhere.
For instance, in conjunction with its overall IT conversion plan that the government introduced last December, the government outlined a “cloud first” policy, which essentially mandated that federal agencies consider a cloud computing option first when planning any new IT projects. Agencies were also required to identify three systems they wanted to move to the cloud.
As a result, the cloud has since saved the government millions of dollars. Some projects: USA.gov moved to the cloud last summer and has since produced $1.7 million in savings and saved countless hours in workload efficiencies. The General Services Administration and the US Department of Agriculture have registered $40 million in savings by saying ‘goodbye’ to their multiple in-house email systems and migrating instead to Google’s and Microsoft’s cloud-based email tools, respectively.
Yet, we all know that plenty of people are worried about cloud security and reliability, especially when it comes to removing key applications and data from the relative safety of firewall protection. IT pros can’t easily forget incidents in the past that have compromised Google, for example.
That’s why — whether you’re a government agency or a small business — you need 24/7 monitoring services of cloud platforms and applications, backed up by instant notifications, to track whether your site is being hosted and running smoothly.
Hope the U.S. government can keep the savings flow running via the cloud. We could use some more good news on that front.