The Pros and Cons of the Federal Push Toward the Cloud

From email to music to movies, the cloud is the future, allowing you to share and store your information for use on multiple devices. Not only have big tech companies adopted cloud-based futures -- Apple will release iCloud in the next few months, as we reported -- but the benefits of cloud computing have even lured the U.S. government, which announced its Cloud First plan last December. Over six months later some agencies, like Homeland Security, have started moving their information off of physical data centers. But others aren't buying into it, reports The New York Times' Sean Collins Walsh. "[The] vision for a leaner and more Internet-centric future for government is being met with caution by at least a few of the technology chiefs at the federal agencies that now have to carry it out." That's because like all seemingly great things, the cloud has both major benefits and major drawbacks.

Cost-saving? The government suggested moving information onto the cloud as a cost-saving measure. Having all the information on the Internet, rather than hosted on expensive data servers, would save the government lots of money, explains Walsh. "Contractors like Amazon, Google and Lockheed Martin market their cloud services as a way for private companies and government agencies to avoid having to build and manage costly new data centers as they add computing capabilities." Cloud First would save the government over 3 billion dollars a year, argues Vivek Kundra, the White House's chief information officer, which is enticing for an already costly enterprise, argues SmartPlanet's Joe McKendrick.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

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