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Monday, May 5, 2009

Please Help Me Plan My Meeting With Mr. Vivek Kundra !!

A couple of weeks ago, I was offered a chance to meet Mr. Vivek Kundra at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in downtown Washington, DC. Needless to say, I was honored to be given the opportunity. Although I was clear on my own views of how the Federal government could use cloud computing, the Obama administration’s plans were, at that time, anything but certain. What a difference a week makes !!

As has been widely reported, the President’s 2010 Budget submission has firmly set cloud computing as a “key tool for improving innovation, efficiency and effectiveness in Federal IT. The GSA has emphasized this edict by releasing a request for information (RFI) for Infrastructure as a Service offerings. This rapid and fairly decisive course change to the way Federal IT will be procured in the future can potentially change an entire industry. Looking at what has happened in the financial and automotive industries, this could also be seen as the administration flexing its muscle yet again in order to set the direction of a crucial component of the US economic system.

So now, with a little over a week before my meeting with Mr. Kundra, what do I talk about? Since the administrations direction has now been set, there’s clearly no need to discuss cloud computing as the right direction for Federal IT. Not being a political pundit or economic advisor, I will definitely stay away from the debates around government influence over the commercial sector. So as a technologist, I will stick to my knitting and discuss what technologies the coming GovCloud implementation will be able to leverage going forward.

If you have any suggestions for me, I would be happy to hear about them. The only thing I ask is for your recommendations to be focused on general technologies, industry standards or open source approaches. Please, no specific commercial products or specific technology implementations.

Of particular interest to me will be those technologies, standards or approaches that are “shovel ready”, and available for pilot implementations today! As outlined in the budget, “… pilot projects will be implemented to offer an opportunity to utilize more fully and broadly departmental and agency architectures to identify enterprise-wide common services and solutions, with a new emphasis on cloud-computing. The pilots will test a variety of services and delivery modes, provisioning approaches, options, and opportunities that cloud computing brings to Federal Government. Additionally, the multiple approaches will focus on measuring service, cost, and performance; refining and scaling pilots to full capabilities; and providing financial support to accelerate migration”.

I look forward to your assistance on this!

Kevin Jackson
kvjacksn@gmail.com

Follow me at https://Twitter.com/Kevin_Jackson

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10 years ago

Jason Matthew McNutt

Kevin, that is an awesome opportunity to be able to be part of shaping the future of IT for our Govt. This obviously comes with some great responsibility as well.

I think in order for the govt to adopt such a broad technology there needs to be standards set for interoperability and security first. We all know that standards boards tend to lag behind real world implementations. But in this case the consequences of not going forward with agreed upon security and interop standards is very dangerous.

What has worked with other technologies is lighting a torch underneath the vendors to get together and provide a set of standards before any govt contracts are let. Sometimes providing that carrot (big carrot) is essential to get everyone in the same room. Good luck with your meeting, very cool!

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10 years ago

Kevin Jackson

Thank you very much for your comments. I agree with your thoughts and personally think that cloud portability will be a huge challenge.

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10 years ago

Anonymous

Kevin - good luck with the meeting. I like your idea of crowd-sourcing suggestions for the meeting! Others will likely have more valuable ideas than mine, so let me just suggest a little thing I'd like Vivek to keep in mind as a guiding principle for open government: Choice.

What do I mean? Government agencies, as they modernize to approach the agility and performance of great commercial IT shops, will be looking to cloud-solution (and other) providers for "business value and choice in a mixed-source world," in the words of Microsoft's Teresa Carlson. The agency CIOs and CTOs whom Vivek leads need the flexibility to choose the best tools to accomplish their mission regardless of platform. I'd hate to see a "one-size-fits-all" prescribed solution (even if it were based on Microsoft products!), and I think we'll all benefit from a balanced approach with appropriate choice and flexibility reserved for smart CIOs.

Good luck and I'm looking forward to reading your report of the meeting! -lewis

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