Monday, October 10, 2008

Government in the Cloud

Back in mid-September, there was quite a thread in the Google Cloud Computing Group on the use of cloud computing by the federal government.  Some of the interesting comments were:
“Not an actual use case yet, but I see that electronic voting (e.g. US presidential elections) would be a good use case for cloud computing, given technology allows eliminate electoral fraud and provides reliable audit trail. “
(NOTE: Throughout the thread, many participants disgreed with this as a good use case)
“Another use case in my mind would be optimization of USPS, that might be beneficial for both government, businesses and cloud providers, but I’ll leave it here, until I’m ready with specifics.” 
“As the first U.S. E-Govt Administrator, I am very intrigued by applications of Cloud Computing to government.  The best use case for this would be electronic filings, especially quarterly Tax payments and annual Tax returns.  However, business gateways and citizen service portals that cut across levels of government would also be good. “
“Another one would be turbotax etc.” 
“At CNIPA (the Italian eGovernment-supporting technical body) we are just organizing a series of seminars on cloud computing with industry and consultancies. My understanding is that electronic voting will not be a viable use case for a number of reasons which have little to do with the infrastructure or the paradigm that might be used. Much better eGovernment use case could be a “my government” portal, where people could exchange official communications with the administration, update their filings and perform payments after being digitally identified. A cloud infrastructure could be the best choice to experiment with a “zero-latency government”, where back-office interactions are not visible to citizens. There are a lot of things that should be analysed and piloted before, including legislative and privacy issues. The effort could be extremely rewarding, though.”
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