infoTECH Feature

January 20, 2014

Cloud Caucus Drives Smart Decisions

The Congressional Cloud Caucus got support from another cloud caucus last week, when the non-profit, non-partisan Cloud Computing Caucus Advisory Group endorsed the Congressional group and its efforts.

The Cloud Computing Caucus Advisory Group includes both government and private industry, and was formed to inform constituents and others of the key cloud issues.

The federal government is all about the cloud and three years ago came out with a Cloud First mandate. The idea, also put in place in the U.K., says that anything that can done on the cloud should be, and that the cloud should be considered first.

This means that the cloud must be treated properly, with security as a top priority.

Image via Shutterstock

This policy is already paying dividends and research house MeriTalk finds that federal agencies are today saving $5.5 billion by using the cloud, but if more aggressive steps are taken that could rise to $12 billion a year, a nice little savings that should only expand.

MeriTalk is an active and founding member of Advisory caucus. “One thing Republicans and Democrats agree on is the IT forecast – and it is cloudy,” said Steve O’Keeffe, founder of MeriTalk and founding supporter of the Cloud Computing Caucus Advisory Group. “We look forward to working with Congressmen Issa and Connolly, as well as other law makers, to help fix Federal IT.”

Other founders include Amazon, EMC (News - Alert) and Microsoft.

Amazon is well on board, and as the leader in IaaS with Amazon Web Services, really should be. “The Cloud Computing Caucus Advisory Group will play an important role in keeping lawmakers informed about Federal IT and cloud computing,” said Teresa Carlson (News - Alert), vice president of the Worldwide Public Sector, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and a founding supporter of the Cloud Computing Caucus Advisory Group. “AWS is committed to supporting the Advisory Group’s efforts and offering guidance to Federal lawmakers on the issues surrounding cloud computing. We are honored to be a founding supporter of a program with such a significant impact on the future of cloud computing.”

Slow Road to Cloud

Despite the mandate and the savings, federal cloud adoption is all too slow and scarce. In fact, the feds have only certified 11 cloud providers out of the hundreds in the market.

“In order to take advantage of all that cloud computing can do to improve Federal government activities, we are pleased to announce the formation of the Congressional Cloud Computing Caucus,” said Chairman Issa (R-Ca.), chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and co-chair of the Cloud Computing Caucus. “This bipartisan caucus will be dedicated to fostering awareness and understanding of this critical IT issue.”

The Cloud Computing Caucus Advisory Group is helping to drive education through research, a cloud cost and savings calculator, news and discussion.

“With a growing demand for cloud adoption, members and policy makers need to understand the untapped potential of cloud computing, the realized savings to date, and remaining challenges to full implementation across the federal government,” said Congressman Connolly (D-Va.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Government Operations and co-chair of the Cloud Computing Caucus. “The Cloud Computing Caucus and the Advisory Group will play a critical role in raising awareness of these issues and ensuring lawmakers have the necessary facts and knowledge to develop policies that promote effective adoption of cloud computing.”

SMB interested in the cloud should know about the upcoming Cloud4SMB Expo, collocated with ITEXPO in Miami, Fla.  Jan. 28 – 31 which explore what you can do with the cloud, and exhibits that demonstrate best of breed products.

Sessions will specifically be focused on the unique needs and challenges of small and medium businesses (SMBs) seeking to leverage the benefits of cloud computing solutions. 


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