February 16, 2012 – A leading tech industry foundation on Thursday released key recommendations on cloud adoption for state and local governments as well as a portal for best practices and emerging trends.

The TechAmerica Foundation’s SLG Commission introduced “The Cloud Imperative: Better Collaboration, Better Service, Better Cost,” a report addressing both the range of opportunities for data deployment and the singular restrictions of governance, security concerns and prohibitive budgets. The cloud guidelines are broken into three main sections – understanding, implementing and acquiring – that touch on data protection and security, readiness assessments and project management, and contractual considerations. It also includes brief examples of successful deployments, like an educational cloud used in Illinois and data infrastructure moved to a private cloud by the University of Kentucky. The report closes with further cloud resources ranging from vendor white papers and standards organization reports, to YouTube clips on promoting end-user adoption, as well as direction to the foundation’s new Web portal.

The commission, formed in September 2011, consists of 35 leaders from vendors such as IBM, Cisco, Oracle, Google, EMC and Dell. Tarkan Maner, commission chair and President and CEO of Wyse Technology, said in a news release that the foundation’s outline should give governments an edge in cloud understanding already realized in the private sector.

“What's been missing [for state and local governments] is a playbook – and we're delivering that, based on a unique and powerful collaboration of 38 leading technology companies to create better collaboration within and between government agencies; resulting in better services and costs to governments and citizens," Maner said.

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said this report “takes the technical complexity out of the hands of already overworked” government IT officials. Dugan Petty, Oregon CIO and president of the National Association of State CIOs, was among the information managers on the government side who contributed ideas and case examples for the report and Web portal. In a news release, Petty said he expected the resources to “increase information exchange between governments and industry” toward better cloud outcomes.

In July, the foundation released 14 recommendations for cloud deployments at the federal level. There is increasing evidence that government agencies are following the private sector in the recent rush to adopt cloud computing. The federal government has made cloud deployments a priority in its IT budgeting and strategy, and IDC recently reported on the small but growing number of collaborative cloud procurement efforts by state and local governments.

To download a free copy of the 48-page report, click here. To visit the Web portal, click here.