3 steps to lift the cloud

1. Expect major changes to the way you do business.

In the traditional own-your-own approach, information technology executives were at the controls of the infrastructure that provided services to users. That is no longer the case when the services come through the cloud.

That means a switch in focus to managing the relationship with cloud computing providers, along with developing expertise in negotiating things such as service level agreements and organization- level agreements. Those agreements are important to set standards for the quality of service you can expect.

2. Reassess your future development plans in light of cloud options.

If you had no existing infrastructure, the move to cloud computing would be easy. But many government organizations have older systems and are implementing enterprise architectures.

You’ll need to carefully choose which of your organization’s processes to transition first and make sure each step harmonizes with your existing IT road map.

3. Anticipate resistance, particularly from technology experts.

Users have spent most of their careers learning how to deal with certain technologies, and the need for some of that expertise will disappear with the move to cloud computing. Users will probably be the least of your problems as long as they continue receiving the same IT support and services as before.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Tue, Jan 13, 2009 Pollock San Francisco

are you aware of any government agencies moving to cloud computing for enterprise services?

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group