14 Recommendations for Federal Cloud Adoption

TechAmerica Foundation’s Cloud2 Commission gives 14 recommendations for furthering the Obama administration’s Cloud First policy.

by / July 26, 2011

A new report is providing federal government leaders with strategies on how to encourage cloud adoption and keep the U.S. at the forefront of the cloud computing movement.

“Cloud First, Cloud Fast: Recommendations for Innovation, Leadership and Job Creation,” was released by the TechAmerica Foundation’s Commission on the Leadership Opportunity in U.S. Deployment of the Cloud (Cloud2 Commission) on Tuesday, July 26, and features 14 recommendations that attempt to further the Obama administration’s “Cloud First” policy.

The 30-page guidance document has a variety of suggestions arranged in four category areas — Trust, Transnational Data Flows, Transparency and Transformation — for both top-level U.S. government officials and for federal agency CIOs.

Some of the recommendations:

• Government and industry should support and participate in the development and implementation of international, standardized frameworks for securing, assessing, certifying and accrediting cloud solutions.

• Government should enact a national data breach law to clarify breach notification responsibilities and commitments of companies to their customers, and also update and strengthen criminal laws against those who attack computer systems and networks, including cloud computing services.

• Agencies should demonstrate flexibility in adapting procurement models to acquire cloud services and solutions. Congress and OMB should demonstrate flexibility in changing budget models to help agencies acquire cloud services and solutions.

• Government should establish policies and processes for providing fiscal incentives, rewards and support for agencies as they take steps towards implementing cloud deployments.

• Government and industry should embrace the modernization of broadband infrastructure and the current move to IPv6 to improve the bandwidth and reliable connectivity necessary for the growth of cloud services.

“Today’s recommendations by the commission will help further accelerate adoption of cloud computing within the government infrastructure,” said Michael Capellas, chairman and CEO of Virtual Computing Environment Company (VCE) and co-chair of Cloud2 Commission in a press release. “Faster adoption of cloud computing will strengthen the United States’ leadership position in the global marketplace and ignite creation of jobs that will be in high demand over the next decade.”

The Cloud2 Commission is comprised of 71 of the country’s top cloud experts. The group also released the “Cloud First Buyer’s Guide for Government,” which gives federal agencies a heads-up on what to look for when investigating cloud solutions.

“The debate around cloud computing is over — everyone agrees the shift to the cloud is inevitable,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of salesforce.com and co-chair of Cloud2 Commission in a statement. “The Cloud First Buyer’s Guide for Government provides the best practices for how agencies can evaluate and deploy cloud services, helping them make huge gains in productivity and efficiency.”