U.S. keeps pushing cloud despite security concerns

In wake of the US $7.25 million plan by the City of Los Angeles toreplace its current Novell and Microsoft-based productivity tools inexchange for Google Apps, a new survey lists security as the biggestconcern for other government bodies to make a similar switch to thecloud.

Unisys, a provider of IT services to major enterprisesand government organizations, said it surveyed 312 IT professionals andover half (51 per cent) cited data security and privacy as the biggestissue in cloud computing. The company added that until CIO’s areconvinced that there is industrial-strength security in the cloud, theywill likely continue to drag their feet on moving into thatenvironment.

But this sentiment has not impacted the U.S.government’s commitment to the cloud. The government’s new CIO VivekKundra has been a loud proponent of cloud computing and recently statedthat government can’t keep fueling traditional data centres to runtheir IT.

He recently unveiled Apps.gov, a Web site where federal agencies can buy approved cloud computing tools.

This is a good initiative and one that should be taken up by our government.

Inmy opinion, the 51 per cent figure would probably be even higher inCanada. We are typically slower on adopting new technologies and eventhough cloud services haven’t been exploding in the U.S. as of yet, wehave seen high profile examples such as the City of Las Angeles case.

I’verecently spoken with Canada’s new CIO Corienne Charette for an upcomingissue of CIO Canada. She told me that she’s been in contact with Kundraand they have discussed a number of issues.

While cloudcomputing is something on her radar, she didn’t seem as enthusiastic asKundra is about it. Here’s hoping some of that enthusiasm rubs off onour government and we get a similar push to dispel the myth that cloudis any less secure than in-house.

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