Cloud Computing in the Public Sector

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In our previous post Cloud computing in 2013, we have clearly established that the cloud is gaining popularity in the business world. This brings us to the next question: What about the Public sector? How far along is cloud adoption in governments around the world? Unsurprisingly, cloud computing has been implemented in various countries since 2009. Some of the leading countries are the United States of America, Japan, and United Kingdom.

The CIO Council report states that in September 2009, the US government announced the Federal Government’s Cloud Computing Initiative, aiming to greatly reduce waste, increase efficiency, and lower operating costs. At the same time, Market Research Media also reported that the U.S. government launched, a portal dedicated to cloud computing applications for government agencies.  Vivek Kundra, U.S. Chief Information Officer described it as “an online storefront for federal agencies to quickly browse and purchase cloud-based IT services, for productivity, collaboration, and efficiency.” He further stated that cloud computing is the next generation of IT in which data and applications will be housed centrally and accessible anywhere and anytime by various devices.

Meanwhile, according to an article by the IEEE Computer Society and, Japan announced its Kasumigaseki Cloud in May 2009, which aims to greatly reduce cost while improving integration and collaboration amongst its various ministries. It is scheduled to be completed by 2015. The name Kasumigaseki (as explained in this article) is the name of an area where most government buildings are located in Tokyo, but the literal meaning of kasumigaseki is “fog’s gate”.

In early 2010, the UK government introduced the G-cloud government infrastructure, an online catalogue containing details of cloud services available for the UK public sector, much like the U.S. website. The G-cloud official site also listed reducing costs and increasing flexibility as some of its aims in adopting the cloud technology.

cloud public sector

Today, there are countless research papers and reports on various countries’ government adoption of cloud computing. KPMG and Frost & Sullivan both wrote more in-depth reports around this topic. Although the cloud is not yet a dominating standard, most developed countries with sufficient infrastructure are at some level of cloud adoption while formulating their long-term national strategy. Thus, cloud computing has established itself as the next logical step in both the public and private sector of the IT industry.