MIcrosoft is working on getting the US Government to adopt cloud based services

National Mall in Washington DC

Moving data over to the cloud offers some benefits to local storage. It can be cost effective and allow remote management from organizations. While the US Government instituted a ‘cloud first’ policy in 2010, Federal government bodies have been slow to adopt the new strategy. To respond to concerns about moving to cloud and inform people of its benefits, the Microsoft Fire Hose blog has posted on a Forbes Insights study with input from Government experts.

Despite the fact that the cloud first policy set into place in 2010 requires “that no new federal IT project of any significance was to move forward without first evaluating a cloud strategy” only 2% of government IT spending within “seven key federal agencies” is on cloud based services according to the September 2014 GAO report. According to the director of IDC Government insights, the entire public sector is at “around 4%.”

Shawn P. McCarthy, the research director for the previously mentioned IDC Government Insights, believes that the low rates may be due to which types of organizations are next in line to adopt cloud based services “because from here, the next cloud installations, they’re becoming more challenging, with more sensitive data and systems, and that takes longer to implement.”

The general manager of the Cloud Computing Caucus David Hantman says that he runs into three concerns more than any others; the security, amount of savings, and proven track record of cloud based services. Being concerned about security is more than expected. One of the agencies they’re trying to get to switch to the cloud is the Department of Defense, which is currently test piloting about 10 programs. That agency has some of the most classified information in the US Government and it would create serious consequences if that data was broken into.

Hantman however, says that these common concerns aren’t founded “none of that is true – not at all… The cost savings are real. The technologies are proven, and if anything, all of the experience shows that data security can actually be significantly enhanced by the cloud.”

Microsoft is heavily pushing the cloud and it would be a boost to their credibility if security centered US government agencies adopted their cloud.

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