Cloud Computing Shoot Out targets federal adoption of the technology

Emerging technology can decrease capital costs and streamline IT infrastructures

One of the most important reasons government agencies should want to use cloud computing is to reign in the costs associated with building and maintaining data centers. Just a few years ago the federal government had only about 400 data centers; today there are more than 1,000, according to Susie Adams, the federal chief technology officer at Microsoft.

Adams and other member of the federal IT industry are scheduled to meet in Washington on Dec. 8 at the Cloud Computing Shoot Out conference to discuss the future of the technology.

Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra will moderate the event and is scheduled to deliver a keynote address in which he will talk about the potential for cloud computing to decrease capital costs and streamline IT infrastructures, Adams said.

Executives from companies involved in the cloud computing movement—including Intel, Microsoft, HP, Google, IBM, Salesforce.com and Amazon.com—are expected to discuss the policy and technology hurdles to bringing cloud-based solutions to the federal government, and how those can be overcome, according to the event’s organizers. The conference will focus on concerns related to cloud portability, interoperability and security.

“The biggest barriers facing government right now are issues related to security, privacy and trust,” Adams said. “Compliance with federal regulations, and how traditional audit processes might evolve over time in order to allow government agencies to take advantage of the economies of scale cloud computing can offer will also be top of mind.”

Speakers at the Cloud Shoot Out are also expected to discuss traditional federal government procurement processes and the current challenges agencies faced when procuring cloud-based services. For example, what exit strategies exist once a workload is in the cloud and how can classified and or mission critical data be stored securely in the cloud?

“There are a lot of questions and unknown facts concerning cloud computing,” said Goldy Kamali, found and president of FedScoop, the sponsor of the event “In order for both industry and government to advance the concept, we need to have a candid discussion on how to address issues like cloud portability, interoperability and security.” 

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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