Vivek Kundra, the US Federal CIO, published a “State of Public Sector Cloud Computing” report on May 20, 2010: http://www.cio.gov/pages.cfm/page/State-of-Public-Sector-Cloud-Computing. It lists a variety of cases where federal and state and local entities are piloting or using cloud computing based solutions, both public and private and various scenarios in between (just gov’t, just military, hybrid, etc.). It’s interesting reading.
Recently at Garter EA Summit conferences, I have discussed how EA itself should embrace cloud computing as a new technology or approach and presented case studies showing how organizations are starting to see the value. It is as revolutionary as SOA, yet likely to be as misunderstood. However, rather than rehashing here a litany of definitions for cloud computing, I’d like to mention a few of the case studies in the report. The efforts span IaaS (DISA’s RACE), PaaS (DISA’s Forge.mil) and SaaS (USAF’s PSDT). Some are internal using cloud computing enabling software (e.g., CollabNet), others are using public cloud services (e.g., Amazon EC2, salesforce.com, RightNow), and others various scopes and hybrids in between (e.g., DISA is acting as the service provider for other agencies). In each case the value propositions include lower costs, more elastic transaction load support, faster transactions, better availability, and in some cases greater collaboration across agencies (Forge.mil, for example). Some are already running (GSA’s usa.gov site now hosted on Terremark’s Enterprise Cloud service), but many are just planned for implementation and rollout in 2011 (e.g., DoI’s cloud service-based email). And, that’s just from the federal cases.
At Gartner we’ve tracked these and other private sector cases, and in my presentations as well as those of other analysts, we’ve tried to show real cases of using cloud computing services. Of course, it’s a new approach that deserves particular consideration as a choice for technology (IaaS, PaaS) and indeed full solutions (SaaS). Yes, there are risks — but these case studies are proving that even careful public sector customers are taking those risks. Please check out Gartner analyst Andrea DiMaio’s blog — he’s the lead for us covering public sector cloud computing for us, and his blog is well known for watching this market and it’s users to see what’s working and what’s not.
Now, on to my real question for you: have you ever written a case study about cloud computing service use within your organization? Have you ever written a case study about ANYTHING concerning EA value in your organization? Our research suggests that most of you have not ever done this. Many of you are ignoring or just undervaluing the results of a strong effort to communicate about your EA successes.
I suggest two things:
- Look at these simple approximately 3 paragraph case studies as an example for you to follow
- Write 3 internal case studies in the next 3 months (no taking the summer off!)
Finally, if you’re really brave: 3) email me a copy or post them on a blog and email me about them. I’m very interested in publicizing good case studies for EA value — be they cloud centered or not. Got one?