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Cloud Computing in Government: More Technology or Sourcing Approach?

by Andrea Di Maio  |  August 20, 2009  |  1 Comment

Last week I had an interesting conversation with a US State client, who runs a central  organization providing infrastructure services to some State agencies. The IT organization there is quite decentralized (or – al most –federated) and each agency can run its own IT infrastructure, although quite a few have their servers hosted by the central organization.

The conversation was about how the central organization could leverage cloud computing to reduce costs, especially in the short term. From what the client told me, their data center is already virtualized so they could already provide infrastructure as a service to client agencies (although we did not go deep enough to fully prove his claims in terms of SLAs, pricing models, and so forth). Additional data point: their data center and related services are heavily insourced (i.e. there is a prevalence of government staff plus a few contractor working on a time & material basis).

I soon understood that his interest in cloud computing (and related saving) was about structuring their own services and not about exploring either the possibility of relying on external providers to meet some of their needs or to establish themselves as a “storefront”, should agencies be willing to move some of their own workloads to external on-demand resources (cloud infrastructures or IT utilities).

Like many who are heads down in their consolidation and virtualization efforts, he was overlooking that cloud computing can be as much an ally as an enemy of those centralized efforts (see previous post) and that, when looking for fast cost saving opportunities, some of these may be seized by individual agencies that source some of their infrastructure or software requirements to a “public cloud” service provider.

Looking at cloud computing as one out many different alternative sourcing and delivery models both for individual agencies and central organization tasked with consolidation efforts, and balancing pros and cons from an overall budgetary perspective is the way to go.

Category: cloud  

Tags: shared-services  

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 Cloud Computing in Government: More Technology or Sourcing Approach?

  1. Jeffrey Peel says:

    Readers of this post may be interested in a live-broadcast web event on the 22nd of October. The event will be broadcast live on the web from London. Government 2010 will focus on how this-generation information technology will transform next-generation government.

    Keynote speakers include Peter Kellner (YouGov); Adam Afriyie MP (Shadow Minister, Innovation); Iain Dale (Political Blogger and Broadcaster); Tom Watson MP (Former Cabinet Office Minister)…and many, many others – including speakers with focuses on local and central government.

    We have a limited number of speaker slots available in sessions ranging from Government Service Centres to Digital Inclusion to Open Data and Mashups.

    Anyone can watch the event – completely free. Although pre-registration is required.

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