Policy & Procurement

Government policy and regulation regarding the procurement and use of cloud computing technologies is still in its nascent stages. This portion of the SafeGov.org site focuses on current policy and procurement issues related to cloud adoption in the public sector, including analyses of Federal, state, and local issues, developments in higher education, and related laws, regulations, and directives.

Federal IT Leaders Want Cloud Vendors to Provide Clarity

Kenneth Corbin, CIO,  Friday, January 23, 2015

Federal agencies are actively shopping for new cloud computing technologies, but vendors will help their cause by packaging their services to be more readily implemented in a government environment that is highly security conscious and almost preternaturally cautious about rolling out new IT systems.

The key to understanding the gap between the vision and reality of cloud computing

Chris Widemann, Washington Technology,  Wednesday, January 21, 2015

In the 1990s, Alan Greenspan, then chairman of the Federal Reserve, referred to the attitudes surrounding the overvalued dot-com market as “irrational exuberance.” I’m beginning to feel the same way about cloud technology as a sales cure-all for government clients. Not that the bottom is going to drop out of the cloud market – far from it. There does seem, however, to be some “unmerited optimism” about relying on the technology as a door opener. The cloud has taken on almost a magical quality among those who sell to government. Many vendors and integrators believe that having a cloud story is the key to winning government contracts, no matter what their core business may be.

Getting IT Right? How State Governments are Approaching Cloud Computing

Kevin Desouza and Gregory Dawson, Brookings,  Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Cloud computing is far more than just a simple technology change and requires a close examination of governance, sourcing, and security. We sought to understand how well state government is prepared to address the challenges of cloud computing.

New cloud era begins at DoD

Aaron Boyd, Federal Times,  Monday, January 19, 2015

"I think there is some genuine, real excitement about going to the cloud in the DoD," said Gregory Garcia, executive director of the Army Information Technology Agency. Initial forays into the cloud are likely to be uncoordinated and small in scale. Once the cloud concept proves successful with those early endeavors, more ambitious enterprise-scale projects will likely follow, experts like Garcia say. "As we build success stories of those early adopters, we'll see more people embrace that idea," Garcia said. "Five years from now, I think it's going to be all in the cloud."

DISA security guide outlines future of DoD cloud

Aaron Boyd, Federal Times,  Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) released new cloud security guidance Tuesday, effectively codifying how Defense Department agencies will use commercial cloud products. The new guidelines — a response to a policy released by DoD Office of the CIO in December — specify what can be placed in public clouds, what needs to be contained within a virtual environment and what data must be kept on physically separate networks.

Super categories, supercomputers, analytics acquisitions and Microsoft clouds

FCW,  Wednesday, January 07, 2015

GSA’s Anne Rung and Tom Sharpe of the Federal Acquisition Service co-posted a blog item Jan. 7 exploring the momentum behind GSA’s Common Acquisition Platform initiative, highlighting last month’s Strategic Sourcing and Leadership Council approval of a proposal to divide the federal marketplace into 10 “super categories.”

4 obstacles to federal cloud adoption

Kirk Kern, Federal Times,  Monday, January 05, 2015

There are several reasons that agencies are turning to cloud deployments, including improved agility, reduced IT complexity and IT spend, and greater collaboration. Yet it is increasingly clear that obstacles are capping broader adoption of cloud services. federal budget officials predict federal cloud spending for FY2015 will come in at $2.9 billion, indicating that cloud migrations will continue to move forward, but that agencies are gently pumping the brakes as opposed to gunning the engine.

Is Google Inc Going To Be The Big Loser In The Cloud?

Sachi Mohanty, eFinance Hub,  Monday, December 29, 2014

With such heavyweight competition, Google will have a hard time becoming a big player in the cloud computing market. Google has never been into the technology consulting business and is focused on engineering. Google’s engineers are always at the cutting edge of innovation when it comes to search technology, big data analytics involving terabytes of data and so on but in cloud computing, Google’s lack of a long background in terms of having long-term relationships with enterprise customers in different domains will mean Google will take many years to become a serious player in cloud computing.

Government of Ireland, European MEP file amicus briefs in New York privacy case

Brad Smith, Microsoft on the Issues,  Tuesday, December 23, 2014

This year one of our priorities has been to advocate for policies that ensure people around the world can trust technology. Keeping this trust is not only important for global technology companies, but vital for ensuring people everywhere can use technology with confidence. One important aspect of ensuring this trust is for likeminded governments to agree on basic principles for sharing data across borders while respecting local privacy laws. The past few days have been important in this effort. This is because the Government of Ireland and a member of the European Parliament weighed in separately with the court considering our case challenging a U.S. search warrant for customer email stored in Ireland.

China to develop trust rating index for cloud vendors

Eileen Yu, ZDNet,  Monday, December 22, 2014

China is planning to rate the trustworthiness of cloud computing vendors, allowing only those with full security clearance to partake in government projects. The move could leave foreign companies out of government procurement contracts, according to a report by China Daily. Zuo Xiaodong, vice-president of industry group China Information Security Research Institute, said: "The basic idea of the security rating mechanism is to find trustworthy hardware, software, and service providers to ensure the government has total control of the entire ecosystem."