Former Federal CIO Vivek Kundra has been hired by enterprise cloud computing company Salesforce.com, the company announced Monday, Jan. 16. Kundra will be the company’s executive vice president of emerging markets.
“Salesforce.com is an industry disruptor, helping organizations use the transformative power of technology for change,” Kundra said in a statement.
According to a New York Times blog post on Monday, Kundra’s duties with Salesforce.com, he told the newspaper, would “consist of showing ‘how Salesforce can close the technology gap’ between traditional business and the faster-moving industry typified by consumer applications like Facebook and Twitter.”
Kundra was tapped by President Barack Obama in March 2009 to serve as the first federal CIO. Last summer Kundra stepped down from the position to take a fellowship at Harvard University.
During his tenure as federal CIO, Kundra launched Data.gov, spearheaded implementation efforts for a dashboard for federal IT projects and mandated the Cloud First policy — a 25-point plan requiring federal government agencies to start using cloud-based technologies in procurements.
According to the Salesforce.com website, the company already has public-sector clients, including the Chicago Housing Authority, The Texas Department of Information resources and New Jersey Transit. The website makes note that Force.com — a site through Salesforce — can help fulfill the federal government’s Cloud First policy.
Kundra’s arrival at Salesforce likely signals that the company is gearing up to make a bigger push for public-sector customers. Kundra told the New York Times he would evangelize Salesforce products to developing nations and countries everywhere. (Kundra himself was born in India and lived in Tanzania until he moved to Gaithersburg, Md., when a child.)
Kundra advocated for cloud computing during his time as federal CIO. He focused efforts on moving up to $20 billion worth of federal IT spending to cloud-based alternatives, according to a 2011 paper written by Kundra in which he reflected on his time in public service. Upon his departure from his position as the federal CIO, every federal agency had started moving into the cloud, a change that created exciting results, Kundra said. Kundra mentioned the Department of Agriculture and the General Services Administration as cloud computing success stories since they are saving $42 million over a five-year period by moving their email services to the cloud.
Prior to serving his position as federal CIO, Kundra served as the CTO for the District of Columbia and as the assistant secretary of commerce and technology for Virginia. Aside from pushing cloud computing efforts at the federal level, his time working in the public sector was greatly spent pushing data center reductions, open data and open government.