With a growing number of businesses turning to cloud computing, 2009 is proving to be a banner year for the technology. Still unanswered, however, is if and when federal agencies will make the switch, and how cloud providers can facilitate a conversation in an arena “” the federal government “” they may still be unfamiliar with. The answer, say industry experts Michael Farber and Drew Cohen of Booz Allen Hamilton, is to walk, not run. “There is a real opportunity here to leverage an exciting option, but there are still significant issues that must be addressed before cloud computing is adopted broadly as an alternative to existing approaches,“ they tell ExecutiveBiz. Recently, Farber and Cohen offered their take on where the federal government stands in relation to cloud computing, and how you can play the cloud game “” literally “” at an event near you.
What has the conversation over cloud computing focused on so far?
Drew Cohen: The focal point up until today has primarily been on cloud computing as an evolution of IT infrastructure “¦ things like data center consolidation and virtualization have been driving internal cloud initiatives and powering new commercial cloud suppliers peddling Software as a Service (SaaS) and outsourced utility computing offerings that create a trade space for what is currently getting done internally.
What“™s the next phase in cloud computing?
Drew Cohen: We see a second phase for cloud computing emerging that“™s about the business processes empowered by cloud computing. This includes new types of collaboration, information analysis, and information sharing capabilities that you couldn“™t have done when you were bound by your enterprise versus the broader community enabled by the cloud.