Cloud computing, social media dominate ELC

Cloud computing, social-media technologies and economic stimulus funding were prime topics at the American Council of Technology/Industry Advisory Council's Executive Leadership Conference, held last week in Williamsburg, Va.

In the cloud: Cloud computing will change the way government builds and uses information technology and will create new opportunities for collaboration. But some people act as if it's a cure-all, and that's inaccurate, said Dave Wennergren, deputy chief information officer at the Defense Department.

“I think this cloud computing thing is really, really, really important to our future,” Wennergren said in a conference presentation. “But we all have to admit there is a massive amount of hype about cloud computing.”

On social media: The adoption of social-media and Web 2.0 technology in the federal government is uneven so far, said Bev Godwin who, until recently, was on detail at the White House’s new-media office. Godwin is director of USA.gov at the General Services Administration's Office of Citizen Services.

Some agencies, such as GSA, are aggressively adopting social media while others are still learning, she said. Godwin recalled that earlier this year, a representative from an agency asked her how much it costs to start a YouTube channel, unaware that the service is free.

Stimulus talk: A second wave of spending under the economic stimulus law will happen during the next year, and information technology projects will receive a big chunk of those funds, said Edward DeSeve, special adviser to the Office of Management Budget and director for implementation of the Recovery Act.

“Without innovation, the American economy has nowhere to go,” DeSeve said. “We can’t do the things that we’ve been doing. We have to do new things, and technology will be an extraordinarily important force in implementing the long-term aspects of the recovery act.” 

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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