Gripe #9: "Good enough for government work? Nope."
You won't find more security-conscious users than in government, and it may take a while before they go into the cloud. "Until someone says that they can meet the NIST criteria for cloud security, I don't see many government customers trusting their applications and data to the cloud infrastructure," says Jim Sweeney, principal solutions consultant for GTSI, a government solutions provider.
Security concerns include the integrity of data, protections in a multi-tenant environment, management of loading and offloading of data, and the trustworthiness of vendor employees, along with questions about the financial stability of vendors.
But it's not just information security that's holding up adoption. "People are using security as an excuse to not move to the cloud in order to protect their jobs," Sweeney says. The typical game plan: "I'm going to have my own internal cloud for my customers."
That's not much of an improvement over existing infrastructure, Sweeney counters. "Why move to a cloud at all?" he asks.
An alternative model places the most technologically savvy agencies as operators of cloud-based services and infrastructures on behalf of other agencies. Leading the way in this regard is the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), an arm of the Department of Defense that provides computing infrastructure and services to the military.
At the InformationWeek Government IT Leadership Forum in June, DISA's CIO Henry Sienkiewicz announced plans to deliver storage and office productivity applications through DISA's private cloud, which could potentially be extended elsewhere within government.
Gripe #10: "Cloud computing is going to put me out of a job."
For the people responsible for maintaining enterprise hardware, the cloud can appear to have the guise of a deadly fog. Should IT professionals fear the cloud?
"If your dream is to build servers and to be on call 24x7 when routers or servers go down, maybe you should be afraid," Stephen J. Roux, founder and president of Farmington, Conn.-based solution architect Innovative Computer Systems. "But if your goal is to see your company grow and become more agile, they still need someone to show them how to make the whole thing work.
"Rather than turning a wrench, sit down and have strategic conversations with the business," adds Roux. "Instead of provisioning servers and data centers, help the business get the most out of their applications."
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