Cloud Economics

Cost savings are central to the business case for cloud computing but can never be assumed in government. This section on cloud economics intends to explore the potential for cost savings along with the many considerations that complicate the equation for governmental organizations looking to transition their IT services to the cloud.

How NASA launched its web infrastructure into the cloud

Jonathan Vanian, GigaOM,  Friday, December 19, 2014

The space agency uses Amazon Web Services to provide the backbone for its new Drupal content management system, and has worked out an interesting way to pay for the cloud, explained Kadakia. NASA’s uses a contract vehicle called Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) that functions like a drawdown account between NASA and Amazon. The contract vehicle takes in account that the cost of paying for cloud services can fluctuate based on needs and performance (a site might get a spike in traffic on one day and then have it drop the next day). Kadakia estimates that NASA could end up spending around $700,000 to $1 million for AWS for the year; the agency can put in $1.5 million into the account that can cover any unforeseen costs, and any money not spent can be saved. “I think of it like my service card,” she said. “I can put 50 bucks in it. I may not use it all and I won’t lose that money.”

Doug Wolfe on Cloud Computing at the CIA

Robert Tilford, Ground Report,  Friday, December 19, 2014

Doug Wolfe—a 30 year CIA veteran—has a tough job. As CIA’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), Wolfe is responsible for ushering the Agency into the 21st century with state-of-the-art computing technology while ensuring our systems are secure. As a pioneer of cloud computing at CIA, Wolfe spearheaded a new way of doing intelligence work that allows for increased collaboration across the 17 Intelligence Community (IC) agencies.

Top 5 Things You’ll See In Cloud Platforms In 2015

Allen Leinwand, Business2Community,  Wednesday, December 10, 2014

While the public cloud wars continue to rage among Google, Amazon and Microsoft, in 2015 we’re likely to see a quiet storm gathering around enterprises adopting cloud platforms. Cloud platforms are typically less understood architecture but serve as a growing greenfield for enterprise innovation, application creation and business agility. Why is the platform coming into its own? Look at these milestones around domain maturity and growth...

Commentary: Not All Clouds Are Created Equal

Susie Adams, Fedscoop,  Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Since moving to the cloud is such a major operational shift, many organizations start their transition with a hybrid solution before moving all of their data to a private cloud. For others, a hybrid model offers the long-term flexibility to store more sensitive data within the agency’s firewall while leveraging the strength of a public cloud for less-sensitive information. Aside from public, private or hybrid solutions, there are also choices about which service model to use, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS). Each offers a range of application-hosting options, allowing governments to scale, or even eliminate, much of the work related to IT and network management so they can focus more on mission-critical projects.

This is Why Microsoft Corporation Will Win the Cloud Wars

Tim Brugger, The Motley Fool,  Monday, November 10, 2014

Even as Google and Amazon.com continue to wage war on each other, scratching and clawing their way to expanding their respective cloud hosting client bases, Microsoft is going about its cloud computing efforts in a slightly different fashion. The back-and-forth between the two cloud behemoths -- including Google's recent cloud services upgrades and yet another price cut, which was then matched by Amazon's unlimited photo storage offer -- is great news for Microsoft fans. Why? Because Microsoft's figured out the real opportunity to generate cloud revenues isn't hosting, that's already a commoditized business. Delivering its suite of software products via the cloud, and continuing to add solutions and delivery channels via strategic partnerships is where Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is focusing his efforts, just as he should.

IDC: Cloud Services Entering Innovation Stage

CloudWedge,  Tuesday, November 04, 2014

IDC is a leader in information technology research. IDC’s latest forecast has public cloud computing growing at 600% rate when compared to the rest of the IT market. The public cloud is changing the way businesses operate and cloud is rapidly maturing as IDC notes that cloud is entering an innovation stage that will shape the future of the market.

Cloud & Mobile Tech Improve Emergency Systems

Todd Piett, InformationWeek,  Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Government agencies approach emergencies in four phases: mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery. This is also a useful framework for looking at some of the technical innovations in the industry. Here are some examples of how mobile and cloud technology trends are impacting each of these areas:

Software: TIA report touts strong cloud investments through 2017

Dan Meyer, RCR Wireless News,  Friday, October 24, 2014

The Telecommunications Industry Association released a report claiming that cloud computing is set to be one of the fastest-growing segments in the telecommunications space through at least 2017, with a forecast 50% increase in spending on cloud services and data center construction over the next four years. The findings, which are part of TIA’s “2014 ICT Market Review & Forecast,” predict that business and consumer spending on cloud computing will surge from nearly $67.8 billion this year to $107 billion in 2017, with spending on constructing new data centers increasing 26% to $29.7 billion in 2017.

New report: Commerce Department can improve data access, quality, distribution

Dibya Sarkar, FierceGovernmentIT,  Monday, October 20, 2014

A new report says the Commerce Department, which provides government data to more companies than any other federal agency, can make improvements in several areas involving data access, quality and dissemination. It outlined seven areas – data discovery and findability, access, quality, collection and sharing, interoperability storage and dissemination, and users as customers – that should be improved.

Agencies should pursue cloud for performance, not cost benefits, says report

Molly Bernhart Walker, FierceGovernmentIT,  Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cloud computing technology is ready for the enterprise, but most agencies are not prepared at a policy level to most efficiently implement it, according to a whitepaper (pdf) published Oct. 10 by the MITRE Corporation and the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center. As a result, agencies adopting the cloud may not realize cost savings but they can realize performance improvements, such as enhanced capabilities and features, say report authors. "An organizational, business, and cultural change needs to occur to enable cloud computing to be readily adopted," says the whitepaper, which summarizes presentations and discussions that took place at the July 2014 Federal Cloud Computing Summit. The report synthesizes governmentwide challenges and best practices around cloud computing.