TechAmerica releases cloud guidance for state, local governments

In a wider move to support and broaden the federal cloud-first strategy and propel U.S. commercial leadership and innovation, a technology advocacy group has released recommendations on how state and local governments can best assess, buy and adopt cloud technologies and services.

The unveiling of TechAmerica Foundation’s State and Local Government Cloud Commission’s new framework took place Feb. 16 at an event in Mountain View, Calif., with industry executives and government officials gathered to hear the announcement.

Thirty-eight technology firms contributed to the roadmap that strives to provide best practices to help state and local government tap into cloud computing. “This initiative was all about collaboration; just like the cloud is all about collaboration,” said Tarkan Maner, commission chair and president and CEO at Wyse Technology.

Cloud computing has become essential for state and local government. But to get to the actual adoption, cloud planners need a roadmap that addresses technical and business aspects, the report points out. The new guidance does just that and provides state and local government officials with recommendations in three cloud-related areas: technical, implementation and acquisition.

The first section addresses technical issues to consider when migrating to a cloud computing environment, such as the importance of choosing the right deployment and service models and how authentication should be managed across all cloud environments.

In the second segment, the commission proposes a four-stage management structure for moving to the cloud. The recommendations include building an inventory of applications to be transitioned to the cloud and determining how cloud computing will affect existing technical operations.

The final part discusses best practices in procuring cloud solutions. Key recommendations include states creating a request for proposal or contract vehicle specifically targeted for cloud solutions or services. Suggestions also call for developing and requiring specific terms and conditions for data portability, records management, security and privacy, and service-level agreements.

In addition to the report, the commission has also launched an online portal, cloud4slg.org, that will enable the sharing of best practices and emerging trends as cloud computing deployment grows in states and localities. The SLG cloud community portal will create a knowledge framework for cloud computing and will be the catalyst for further collaboration and idea exchange, Jennifer Kerber, president of the TechAmerica Foundation, said in a statement.

 

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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