The New York Times has published an excellent op-ed piece from former Federal CIO Vivek Kundra on the national and global importance of cloud computing. He points out that, in the midst of a very slow economic recovery, governments here and abroad continue to waste enormous amounts of money on unnecessary information technology. Citing one particularly outrageous $850 million dollar fiasco as just one example, he blames the "I.T. cartel" - a "powerful group of private contractors [that] encourages reliance on inefficient software and hardware that is expensive to acquire and to maintain."
His answer is to embrace Cloud Computing (this is Vivek "Cloud First" Kundra talking after all). My advice is to remember that Cloud BPM is an excellent way to initiate a cloud strategy.
In addition to talking about successful examples of cloud computing, Kundra addresses the "cloud isn't secure" nay-sayers head-on: "... cloud computing is often far more secure than traditional computing, because companies like Google and Amazon can attract and retain cyber-security personnel of a higher quality than many governmental agencies." In addition, providers like Appian have built in security safe-guards that make their cloud platforms and applications as secure as, or even more secure than, the best of on-premise systems.
Kundra also raises the crucial point that the U.S. cannot afford to fall behind the rest of the world in the cloud computing revolution. He cites growing commitment to the cloud in both Japan and India, and research firm Gartner's prediction that cloud computing will be a $149 billion industry by 2015. He posits that achieving a 1 percent productivity increase in healthcare alone much of which could be achieved with cloud-based services represents a $300 billion value for the U.S, economy.
Appian's Cloud BPM provides an easy on-ramp to cloud computing for government agencies and commercial organizations. Leveraging the cloud for process-based applications means delivers cost-savings, productivity increases, and greater collaboration around shared services.
We all need to heed Kundra's closing remarks that the cloud revolution will create both winners and losers: "Governments, businesses and consumers all have a lot to gain, but not everyone will have an equal say at the table. Public and private organizations that preserve the status quo of wasteful spending will be punished, while those that embrace the cloud will be rewarded with substantial savings and 21st-century jobs."
-Ben Farrell, Director, Corporate Communications
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