Moving to the Cloud? What’s Your Biggest Worry?

Cloud based computing continues to be a hot topic in government.  The DorobekINSIDER live recently discussed What's The Status of Gov 2.0? with an expert panel.  It seems that cloud solutions continue to be the driving force behind new government innovations.   Michael Donovan is a Distinguished Technologist with the HP Enterprise Services Office of the CTO.  He told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program about a new survey and government-industry collaboration that could improve cloud acquisition.  
  • What's the reasoning for developing a survey?
Donovan mentioned that there's a slow rate of adoption of cloud computing across government and they wanted to develop a survey that could identify actionable recommendations that support the availability of cloud products and services.  Through the survey they hope to be able to assess the procurement challenges for both provider and consumer, the government and industry.  By analyzing the information they gain from the survey they will provide recommendations to the community at large, the GSA, and others to see if they can speed up the process for change.  
  • How is cloud based IT procurement different from traditional IT?
Cloud computing acquisition is a different beast than traditional IT procurement in that the government normally acquires a capital expense, hardware or software licenses, or services.  However, cloud computing is "more like buying utilities like power and water than buying classic IT," Donovan says.  He wants to be able to understand whether organizations are looking at cloud computing as more of a utility than direct acquisition of an asset.   Now if you need to add more memory or change the number of processors on a server, a contracting officer has to sign off on the reallocation of funds when you change from one machine to another.  The rules for doing so are structured in a manner that makes the cloud computing dynamic changes more difficult.  
  • What is the largest challenge to overcome?
When Donovan was asked what the most vexing procurement cloud challenge was he said it had to do with how you pay for something that isn't a hardware or software asset.  Because this is a very different model than how IT is currently bought and sold there are many hurdles to get past.    What are your biggest worries about moving to the cloud?  

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