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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cloud Computing as a Strategic Asset

For some reason, this week seems to have more in it than most. While the steady stream of briefing request seem to be increasing, the post briefing discussions also seem to be much more intense. The cloud computing education phase seems to also be morphing into a cloud computing implementation phase. The number of "What is cloud computing?" questions are much fewer while the business case questions are now commanding the most attention. As if to highlight this transition, a Pentagon meeting I had earlier this week really crystallized the following points for me:
  • Although SOA is not a pre-requisite for obtaining value from cloud computing techniques, it does maximize the operational and economic value of using cloud computing technologies.
  • Detailed knowledge of an organizations business processes enhances the operational effectiveness and value of SOA, and by extension, a cloud computing deployment.
  • Cloud computing can open up new avenues for federal acquisition competition. One possible model could see the government operating a government-owned SOA layered on top of a commercial, competitively selected infrastructure-as-a-service (IAAS) platform.
  • Information is a strategic asset and a cloud computing infrastructure can enhance the employment of that asset.

These points aren't necessarily new, but to me, they reinforce the strategic importance of getting cloud computing for the government right the first time.