Image by bensheldon via Flickr
Give the government some credit sometimes, the new Apps.gov web site is an open shopping portal based on cloud computing and web 2.0 applications. The web site is clean, sharp, and looks like it will serve a useful purpose if government agencies can get past the old way of doing things and embrace Web 2.0 like New York has.
We need a federal cloud computing service to help modernize government and see realizable cost savings over the older and error prone way of doing business. Combine this with the data that a person can use at the government spending dashboard it.usaspending.gov you get a potent tool for people who monitor budgets. Not just people, but comptrollers, CIO’s and CFO’s across a broad range of government institutions. The cost savings can in turn be used to manage or run other government programs that help further reduce the costs of government. Many companies have no idea how they have invested in it, or the cost realization that can be obtained from Cloud Computing. Adding these two programs to the government portfolio is one of the smartest things to come out of Washington DC in a while.
The only real major hitches in this will be adoption amongst the GS workers and managers. Is government service truly ready and willing to embrace systems that they have no physical control of? That is a question that will only be answered in time to see how these systems and ideas are adopted. I would expect to see that a new team of leadership and users will form a core group within an agency that uses and adopts these systems and ideas regardless of what senior management or non-adopters will choose to use. We are at our most comfortable when we are using something tried and true, we are at our most uncomfortable when we are dealing with change. The Federal Cloud Computing Services platform and Cloud IT Services is a radical departure from the one datacenter one organization rule that CIO’s, CFO’s and others have grown used to. That is where the challenge lays, how to get government agencies to adopt changes that will reduce the IT budget, open the door to interactions with civilians on a one to one basis, and fundamentally alter how transparent and accountable a government organization is.
This is a major step in the right direction, what remains to be seen is the adoption of these services will look like within the government.
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(Cross-posted @ TechWag)