Ok..You Debate…We’ll Innovate….
In his Government Computing News column, Mike Daconta http://bit.ly/GTcsVD , impassionedly argues that the NIST definition for Cloud Computing, with its complexity, is cause for government IT managers to stay the course with business as usual; intonating that you should buy hardware, software, people, property, plant and repeat every 36 months. Your budget cycles and key performance indicators are aligned with this legacy and entrenched model. It worked for a few decades and is well cared for in +$80B worth of budget dollars but it is not without its own complex challenges. The legacy model provided us 2nd order derivatives like misplacing 1000 data centers http://bit.ly/bN3AU3 , a weakened cyber posture and application constructs designed to encourage vendor lock-in. I agree it would be easy to stay the course but I strongly disagree that definition is a compelling enough cause not to innovate.
The good people at NIST, GSA, Leaf, McClure, et. al, have been leading the charge in this definition work and driving innovation in their agencies and the sector writ large. It is absolutely possible and absolutely needed to continue to refine definitions but not at the expense of deploying immediately needed innovation. These folks should be lauded. Not harassed.
Had they waited for debate society work to culminate – innovative projects like Army Private Cloud http://bit.ly/H60zNe and Apps.Gov http://bit.ly/enikBl never would have been started. APC is going to save millions in costs, improve the operating picture for warfighters and do it in a more secure fashion. Apps.gov offers untold levels of transparency and easier procurement models.
It is the promise of Cloud Computing which is being realized today by these innovators and projects.
Don’t we owe it to our constituencies: warfighters, authorizers, civilian services, taxpayers … to refine and innovate?