The Government Cloud Computing Conundrum

Government Cloud Computing at it’s finest

So week in and week out it seems like I have another Cloud entry to add here on the old blogosphere.  Have we at IDMWorks succumbed to the “IT” term of the year?  Well, more than likely, YesIDMWorks, having been very active in the US Government information technology arena for the last 4 or 5 years, is poised to service many of our new and existing clients with Cloud technologies.  In fact we have built out a Cloud structure within our (Cloud based) lab that incorporated a number of Identity and Access Management technologies so that we can demo and utilized them in the record time (looking for a demo of your vendor’s favorite IDM or IAM toolset?  Just reach on out and give us a nudge.  We will deliver one for you).

I have been checking in with a few organizations that we partner up with on occasion to better understand the pitfalls and the positives involved in Government acceptance of Cloud technologies.  The biggest draw for the US Government is the ability to help alleviate the cash crunch they seem to be in these days.  I have already blogged ad nausea about the security issues that are potentially out there and of course of the public vs. private vs. hybrid ramifications.  I think we can pretty much assume that the US Government isn’t going to be touching the Public side of the Cloud ever.  But let’s spend a bit of time looking at what makes a Governmental Private Cloud tick.

As for Drivers, well as stated in prior entries, many of the drivers are similar:

1)      Pay as you Go approach to IT (i.e. less waste)

2)      Flexibility and Scalability on an as needed basis.

3)      Rapid Implementation

4)      Consistent (hopefully) Service and Reliability

5)      Pooling of Resources (makes the US Government more green)

Now in order to make this work for the Government there are going to be some pretty clear requirements up and coming.  My guess is you see the following at a minimum:

1)      Data Center Consolidation

2)      A Certification process of Cloud Solutions specific to the US Government rules and requirements

3)      New NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) requirement

Until these are fleshed out we are in a hurry up & wait mode but now is the time to start prepping for the eventual Cloud hunting season. Form the IdM perspective the ability to Provision and De-provision both physical and logical resources will be paramount.

As for the US Government embracing the Cloud, I think NASA has pioneered the way with their Nebula Cloud Computing Platform.  These guys are bleeding edge government solutions right now.  As for the techies out there administrating the networks of our or any government for that matter, time to start researching the next wave, its coming and it’s coming pretty fast.