Gartner Blog Network

US Federal Government Puts Its Toes into the Cloud Computing Water

by Andrea Di Maio  |  May 12, 2009  |  6 Comments

A White House document published yesterday with the FY 2010 budget request touches on cloud computing as a way to improve innovation, efficiency and effectiveness in federal IT.

The document suggests that

A number of pilot projects will be implemented to offer an opportunity to utilize more fully and broadly departmental and agency architectures to
identify enterprise-wide common services and solutions, with a new emphasis on cloud-computing.

It clearly refers to infrastructure services and to a private cloud, i.e. a virtualized infrastructure potentially serving the needs of the whole federal government, but operated under its control and most likely within national boundaries. Security is of course of paramount importance, but the document does not suggest that any of the pilots may consider to use a public cloud, although this would be possible (and probably desirable) in areas where privacy and security concern are not top-of-mind (e.g. informational web sites).

Suggested pilots cover a broad spectrum, ranging from user computing to data centers, from portals to content and records management, from case management to enterprise software. It is clear that, while the most immediate impact will be on the IT Infrastructure Line of Business (not by chance GSA’s Patrick Stingley has been named Federal Cloud CTO), other Lines of Business (such as Financial Management or HRM) are soon to come.

It will be interesting to watch how this plays out and affects the marketplace. This is probably the largest scale endorsement of cloud computing of any government and, although it is still at a nascent stage, may set the bat for many other governments to follow.

See also my recent post on how cloud and commoditization are related.

Category: cloud  

Tags: cloud-computing  gsa  obama  vivek-kundra  

Andrea Di Maio
Managing VP
15 years at Gartner
28 years IT industry

Andrea Di Maio is a managing vice president for public sector in Gartner Research, covering government and education. His personal research focus is on digital government strategies strategies, Web 2.0, open government, cloud computing, the business value of IT, smart cities, and the impact of technology on the future of government Read Full Bio

Thoughts on US Federal Government Puts Its Toes into the Cloud Computing Water

  1. John Kost says:

    The federal OMB A-76 process requires that functions of government be considered for competition in order to determine if something is best done internally (and, if so, by whom) or by the private sector. Some agencies take A-76 seriously though it remains to be seen whether the Obama administration generally will do so.

    The A-76 process and templates may need to be updated to better account for “cloud” computing. Cloud computing introduces a new dimension in that capital investment issues are largely eliminated in favor of very simple transactional models.

  2. Max Claps says:

    I’m tempted to think that those “enterprise-wide” common services and solutions are just a different flavor of consolidation, regardless of the delivery model, the ITI Line of Business shared services program, or a private cloud, it will require widespread agreement among a few dozen agencies on what that architecture should look like.

  3. […] a recent post I mentioned a White House Document issued together with FY 2010 budget request, which covers – […]

  4. […] the increasing interest of the US federal administration in cloud computing, the debate of pros and cons of the so-called “private (government) cloud” is intensifying. A […]

  5. […] initiatives. One amongst many, its move toward the adoption of cloud computing. As discussed in a previous post, this focuses primarily on the establishment of a “private cloud”, and sets the foundation for […]

  6. […] when I started following what the US federal administration is doing around cloud computing (see here), I have been wondering whether there was an intention to come up with something like a […]

Comments are closed

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management. Readers may copy and redistribute blog postings on other blogs, or otherwise for private, non-commercial or journalistic purposes, with attribution to Gartner. This content may not be used for any other purposes in any other formats or media. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. Gartner shall not be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.