TechAmerica Commission strives to drive U.S. innovation via cloud computing

Jeff-Bergeron.jpgBy Jeff Bergeron, HP Chief Technology Officer (CTO), U.S. Public Sector*


Recently I was honored to be appointed Commissioner to serve on the TechAmerica Commission of the Leadership Opportunity in U.S. Deployment of the Cloud (CLOUD²).   As with most things government, the name of the program is a mouthful, but our two-pronged mandate is clear:


1.       Give the Obama Administration recommendations for how government should deploy cloud computing technologies

2.       Develop recommendations for new  public policies that will help drive U.S. innovation in the cloud (and hopefully spur economic growth as well)


We have just three-months to craft the strategy.  Then we will share our recommendations with Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, for the public sector.  Also our policy recommendation to help drive cloud and computing innovation will be presented to Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Commerce Undersecretary for Standards and Technology Pat Gallagher.


The kick-off

Last week the commissioners came together for our kick-off meeting in Washington, D.C.  It was exciting to be among the 71 experts from industry and academia, 45 from the public sector and 21 from the commercial sector.  Among the more well-known commissioners are Michael Capellas (former CEO of Compaq) and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. 


At the start of this session, we heard from several government leaders emphasizing the importance of this commission and its role in speeding adoption of cloud within the public sector through:

  • structured procurement processes
  • cloud security
  • data portability / interoperability
  • hybrid cloud management approaches 


Faced with IT budget constraints and increasing support costs today the Federal Government is positioning cloud as the foundation of future IT services that will speed implementation, enable mission-critical operations and lower IT costs. In fact, Kundra has mandated a “cloud first” policy that requires government agencies to give priority to cloud-based solutions whenever possible.


Additionally, the movement of cloud services into the public sector will have a profound impact on mobility, so the commission will be addressing policies that enable security at the edge, while providing the flexibility for the consumption of cloud services.


Human capital impact

As the federal government speeds the adoption of cloud, the commission will address the human capital impacts across government – resulting in our focus on an agency’s ability to effect change within the organization.  Adoption of cloud in government, just as with other industries, will have an impact on how IT services are procured and consumed and how agency CIOs can effectively manage change as they transition from traditional IT to consumable cloud services.


The commission will produce the final report this summer and as we work towards our final recommendations I’ll be sure to keep you informed of our progress. I’m excited to be contributing with other IT leaders in addressing these critical issues.   As your representative on the commission, I would like to hear from you.  What are your thoughts on what the policy changes should be to help spur cloud computing innovation in the United States?   Do you believe, as I do, that technology innovation is a key to helping solve many of our nation’s problems?


Related links:


*Jeff's bio

Jeff Bergeron is the HP Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the U.S. Public Sector. In this role, he leads a team of chief technologists that are responsible for matching HP’s capabilities and offerings with the requirements of the U.S. Government market sector. Bergeron works directly with government agencies to define strategic transformation plans that enable them to maximize their IT budgets while aligning to mission goals and objectives.

Jeff Bergeron He works with mission stakeholders and clients to build repeatable industry solutions that are tied to business outcomes. In support of these efforts, Bergeron is responsible for building investment business cases, innovating new products and services that will help the government market. Additionally, Bergeron is driving HP’s Cloud strategy for Public Sector and is recognized as a leader in Cloud computing, working with senior leaders in government and participating in industry forums.


Bergeron has been a contributing author to federal publications and industry analyst market studies. He regularly shares HP thought leadership as a speaker at various industry events.


Comments
JudyRedman | ‎04-29-2011 05:50 PM

Great post! Thanks, Jeff,  for serving on this prestigious commission.  I believe the strong government support for cloud computing will help speed its use in other industries.  It’s interesting that President Obama and Vivek Kundra both say “federal IT is horrible”  according to a recent article in Politico. Cloud computing can not only help save taxpayer dollars over the long run (certainly a good thing with the rising national debt), but also help the government provide better service to its citizens.  Those interested in your post might also be interested to know that the U.S. Department of Defense CIO recently spoke In a PCWorld  article in favor of speeding the adoption and development of cloud and mobility technologies.   

Here are the URLs of the other articles I cited. 

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53433.html

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/225960/defense_cio_wants_to_speed_adoption_of_cloud_mo...

irshadraihan | ‎05-02-2011 05:49 PM

Congratulations, Jeff! Serving on this committee is a significant milestone for you personally, and for the HP company. Kudos to Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, and President Obama, for prioritizing IT as a way to improve government efficiency and accountability.

 

2011 is an inflection point in the adoption of cloud computing. A government led adoption of cloud technologies combined with related policy changes will undoubtedly usher in the cloud era in the US. In my mind, there are three key policy changes that could expedite cloud adoption and innovation in the US:

 

i. Standardization and unification of Federal and State IT systems: Rather than operate in silos, if the Federal and State IT departments agreed on a unified cloud deployment model for many common applications, it would serve as a best practice for companies who have considered the technology but declined because of security or scalability concerns. In fact, the government could use a hybrid model to deploy applications to public clouds that will be available to the general public and different applications through private clouds for state government consumption. The key is to start small, gain confidence from the delivery and end-user satisfaction results, and then to adopt a phased rollout approach to eventually cover all government IT applications and infrastructure.

 

ii. Tax credits for SaaS (Software as a Service) producers and consumers: Of the many enabling technologies that make up cloud computing, SaaS is the sweet spot that could drive adoption in droves. If the government were to incentivize creation and consumption of software via the cloud, it would kick off a network effect that could snowball into a groundswell adoption of SaaS. In addition, the government could consider tax credits on capital expenditure avoided as part of cloud adoption.

 

iii. Subsidized software through online apps stores: As an extension to the suggestion above, the government could facilitate creation of a universal apps store and subsidize software bought through the store, allowing consumers to rate and review each app on scalability, security and design. This would alleviate some of the security concerns on the part of application consumers. The next logical step would be to extend the apps store to offer Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and buy-as-you-go integration services such as database consolidation.

 

I fully concur that technology innovation is the key to many of our nation's problems. Not only do we need to apply burgeoning technology paradigms to aid government function but also reinvent ourselves as innovators in the light of the competition from tech giants like India and China. HP in particular is well poised to support the cloud revolution through a range of technology offerings – from infrastructure to build data centers that house clouds, all the way to “as-a-Service” cloud offerings.

 

Irshad Raihan

ESSN Global Marketing Manager, HP

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