Vivek Kundra On Pushing the Federal Government Cloudward

May 26, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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via All Things D

Vivek Kundra is the Chief Information Officer of the United States of America. Not many people know that there is such a position-he is the first, appointed by President Obama in 2009-let alone what the position entails.

But when you consider that the federal government collectively buys more information technology than any other organization on the planet, technology companies that hope to win some of that business sit up and take notice.

This year, the government will spend $80 billion on IT, at agencies as varied as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health and Human Services, and on non-classified sections of the US Department of Defense. As slices of government spending go, this is not huge, amounting to about 2 percent of the federal budget, but not trivial either. As has usually been the case, the government spends more (about $3.8 trillion in 2011) than it brings in via tax revenue (about $2.2 trillion in 2011). With Congress and the President wrestling over extending the debt ceiling, every dollar spent becomes a politically-charged particle of a wider debate over the appropriate role of government in our society.

The one thing that pretty much anyone–whether they’re a politician, a member of the Washington bureaucracy, or a humble taxpayer–can agree on is that when a dollar is spent, it should be done effectively and productively. Kundra’s job is to whip government agencies into shape around IT spending, and make them think more like private companies in planning that spending.

A keystone of his plan is to push federal agencies to embrace, where possible and appropriate, the cost-savings and efficiency that come from cloud computing. Today he’s released exclusively to AllThingsD a list of 78 different government projects and services that have been identified for a shift to the cloud. Requests for proposals-RFPs, the documents through which government agencies seek bids from the private sector-are either already written or soon to be released. The list is embedded below.

In it you can see the breadth of the federal commitment to the cloud. For example: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would like to move 25,000 email and calendar accounts to a cloud service. The Department of Homeland Security would like to move 100,000 email accounts and 90,000 collaboration accounts to a secure private cloud-based system. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wants to move 7,500 users based in 260 offices to a cloud-based system.

Continued here.