SafeGov.org is a forum for cloud computing industry experts and decision-makers to discuss, promote, and advance trusted and responsible solutions for the public and private sectors. SafeGov was founded in 2011 to address responsible cloud computing across the public sector, including federal, state and local governments, law enforcement, healthcare and education. Since then, the cloud computing and data security landscape has evolved, with many private sector decision-makers seeking to employ best practices, and well-defined privacy and security policies. By fostering a more comprehensive understanding of cloud technologies, including their benefits, capabilities and limitations, SafeGov.org works to empower both public sector and commercial users to make well-informed procurement choices from the growing universe of marketplace offerings.
- Propose solutions, best practices and guidance to ensure that public and private sector customers can seize the advantages of new cloud offerings while mitigating risk.
- Provide detailed information that governments, enterprise, and educational institutions need to make complex decisions about shifting services to the cloud.
- Provide a comprehensive platform for leading experts and analysts to discuss issues affecting the broader cloud sector.
- Help foster healthy discussions of innovations and advancements in cloud computing by tracking policy developments, news coverage, and expert analysis and research.
- Promote open competition and safe, secure, and responsible IT practices.
The following principles are a foundation for this forum:
- Data storage and integrity: Public and private sector users have the right to know how and where their data is stored and that it is stored without compromising data integrity.
- Cloud architecture choice: The right for customers to choose a cloud architecture that best meets their needs.
- Accurate vendor representations: The commitment of vendors to clearly and accurately represent their capabilities, costs and ability to conform to government and industry standards.
- Security and privacy: The top priorities for any cloud solution should be to provide maximum security and well-defined privacy policies that reflect the interests of public and private sector customers.
- Level playing field: The need for open competition based on well-defined implementation and procurement policies.
What's At Stake
The adoption of cloud computing in the public sector promises lower costs and more efficient use of computing resources. As with all technology paradigm shifts, however, hurdles to its broad-scale adoption and implementation remain. Today, illegal incursions into government systems are a real threat to sensitive, confidential information. Everyone -- from the U.S. military and law enforcement agencies, Medicare and Social Security recipients, and students and school personnel - is at risk if cloud computing solutions fail to adhere to the highest standards of safety and security. The perception of this elevated risk only heightens security concerns associated with the decision to implement cloud technologies. Furthermore, while political mandates like "Cloud First" the need for the gradual movement of government IT services towards the cloud, the enactment of such policy is threatened by budget cutbacks and the departure of key personnel.
Still, recent estimates from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget underscore the considerable financial impact of cloud implementation in the Federal government. Of a total of $80 billion in federal IT spending, $20 billion will likely move to the cloud. OMB assessments predict that the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of the Treasury will employ cloud computing on the largest scale, with nearly $2.4 billion in spending forecasted in each agency.
When cloud computing is done correctly, there is the potential for governments to get more value out of tax dollars.
The importance of identifying the right approach to implementing these technologies is paramount. When cloud solutions are not done correctly, they cost more than the current infrastructure and introduce security and compliance headaches that jeopardize the ability of government entities to meet their IT goals. Government users must exercise discipline and demand greater transparency in vendor privacy and security practices before trusting them with sensitive information. With an unprecedented amount of private data from consumers going into the cloud, the stakes for government agencies and the taxpayers they represent are tremendous.
See the SafeGov.org launch press release here.
See the Ponemon cloud study press release here.