Apr 19 2011

Into Cloud: Universal Challenges

NIST's Dawn Leaf identifies common challenges among government stakeholders when it comes to moving systems and IT services over to cloud services models.

When the National Institute of Standards and Technology began its work on cloud computing, it started out with a fact-finding mission.

Those meetings and discussions with stakeholders, says NIST Senior Cloud Computing Executive Dawn Leaf, helped her team flesh out some universal concerns and challenges:

  • Because cloud computing is an emerging technology model and there’s relatively little installed base in government for mission-critical applications, federal adopters want a rule book to help when applying this computing model.
  • To assure that migrations and cloud use are successful, providers will need to understand agencies’ requirements at very specific mission levels — not generally.
  • For agencies to understand offerings and make “apples-to-apples” comparisons, they will need detailed and granular views of cloud service options.
  • Although there is a need for mature cloud standards that are broadly adoptable, the government must balance this need against rapid developments taking place in this emerging tech field.
  • The government needs to address policy questions related to privacy and security issues driven by the cloud model’s dependence on the Internet.
  • Collaboration requires involving many partners inside and outside government, but the cloud community is so broad that it’s not feasible for everyone to be involved in everything.

Learn more from Leaf and the other government participants in the FedTech “Getting Ready for the Cloud” webinar.