The Obama administration took the wraps off its Federal Cloud Computing Strategy, releasing a strategy paper detailing how the government can “unleash the power of the cloud.”

The strategy, which is being spearheaded by Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, is designed to provide a framework and case examples to support agencies in migrating towards cloud computing and to promote a “cloud first” methodology.

The paper says the Federal government’s current IT environment is characterized by low asset utilization, a fragmented demand for resources, duplicative systems and long procurement lead times.

“Cloud computing has the potential to play a major part in addressing these inefficiencies and improving government service delivery,” it states. “The cloud computing model can significantly help agencies grappling with the need to provide highly reliable, innovative services quickly, despite resource restraints.”

The government estimates as much as $20 billion of the $80 billion Federal IT budget is a potential target for migration to the cloud. The strategy paper also outlines which agencies it believes could benefit the most from cloud computing.

The Department of Homeland Security and Treasury were identified as the agencies with the greatest potential. Both have an estimated $2.4 billion in spending that could be migrated. Next was the Department of Defense with about $2.1 billion in potential cloud spending, followed by Veterans Affairs and the Department of Transportation, both at about $2 billion.

With the publication of the strategy, each agency is to evaluate its technology sourcing strategy with an eye to leveraging cloud computing.



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