Smart Enterprise Magazine

Volume 7, Number 3, 2013

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Launching the Cloud application platform for both employees and partners. "We had quick success by leveraging the social platform to create operational efficiencies and cost savings," Alboum says. The cloud also helps the GSA use social media, bringing its different communities together, especially in the areas of business applications, documents, knowledge, customer service and project management. "We not only migrated our legacy application portfolio, but also gained operational efficiencies and cost savings in the areas of enterprise collaboration, ideation and back-office modernization," Alboum says. The GSA's move to the cloud lets the agency consolidate 1,700 legacy apps to fewer than 100 and develop 26 new enterprise business applications in less than six months. One example is a new project-management tool, which now supports 280 GSA projects. The tool tracks these projects for alignment with the agency's priorities and strategic plans, investment management and financial reporting. Project managers can collaborate with teams and manage projects from any device, anywhere, and at any time. Another GSA-developed app, IT Spend Tracker, was created in a mere 16 days. It then helped the GSA make more than 750 spending decisions in just eight weeks, saving the agency an estimated $1.2 million and an additional $10 million in avoided costs. The savings came from improved collaboration among IT, the business lines and finance officers over how IT funds should be spent, Alboum explains. This collaboration, in turn, helped the GSA avoid duplicate or unneeded purchases. In addition, Salesforce has reduced the GSA's application-development time by 75 percent and cut its five-year total cost for the average application by 90 percent, Alboum says. The U.S. Department of Defense is moving to the cloud in a big way, too. DoD says its enterprise cloud strategy will move the CLOUD IS OVERTAKING GOVERNMENTS OVERSEAS AS WELL The cloud is global. It's not only CIOs in U.S. government agencies who are feeling the effects of cloud computing and the move to services-based IT environments. In Western Europe, more than half of public sector IT executives have either adopted or are planning to adopt private clouds, according to an IDC Government Insights study released earlier this year. Public clouds are on the European agenda, too: Nearly 30 percent of the respondents to the IDC survey said they have either adopted or plan to adopt public clouds. In Australia, the federal government aims to lead in the use of cloud services. The larger goal: "to achieve greater efficiency, generate greater value from [IT] investment, deliver better services and support a more flexible workforce," according to a cloud computing policy statement from Australia's Department of Finance and Deregulation. More specifically, the Australian government says its agencies will consider cloud services for new IT procurements, choosing cloud services when they represent the best value and reasonable risk compared with other options. —B.V. When do you anticipate your organization will begin using cloud services? I 16% 6% 26% 26% I Within the next 13 to 24 months I Beyond 24 months I 26% Within the next 12 months We currently use cloud services I Undecided at this time DATA: InformationWeek, "Federal Government Cloud Computing Survey," 83 U.S. federal government IT professionals who are using or assessing cloud services, September 2012 department from the current state of a duplicative, cumbersome and costly set of application silos to an end state that is agile, secure and cost-effective, according to a 2012 report from the DoD. Applications moving to the DoD cloud include email, file storage and collaboration. Still, cloud adoption in the public sector is in its early days. Roughly only one in five U.S. federal agencies is adopting cloud technology, according to the most recent InformationWeek federal cloud computing survey. Nearly 30 percent are still in the early stages, while about the same percentage are still assessing how to proceed. And nearly 20 percent currently have no plans to build or adopt cloud services. (See chart, p. 24.) The cloud, of course, enables IT as a service. And that, in turn, is changing the role of public sector IT leaders. Smith of Accenture expects tomorrow's government CIO to be a provider of IT-driven business services. Such services could include analytics and business intelligence, he says. Adds Nate Rushfinn, Principal Enterprise Architect at CA Technologies: "We're seeing this transformation where CIOs become the brokers of all these different types of cloud-based services." Cloud brokers don't exist yet in government. But as an alternative, Rushfinn cites the state of California, which is requesting proposals for a service provider to build a cloud center in the state government's existing data center. Once the project is complete, the state plans to provide IT services to various departments. This may not be brokering, but "it provides a great solution so customers don't do an end-run around IT," Rushfinn adds. One unusual benefit of the new IT-services model for public sector IT is that it can reduce inefficiencies. The government budget-approval process takes so long, by the time the technology is actually deployed, it's often already obsolete. But the new services-based model, by letting agencies acquire the latest technology tools as they're needed, can remove the burden of acquiring equipment and create more opportunity for innovative projects, because of time and cost savings. "IT is still looked at as a cost center," McNabb of CSC says. "It has to become more of a thought leader in terms of innovation." The variety of cloud services is growing, too, which means public sector CIOs will be kept busy brokering these services to different groups within their agencies. "There are going to be clouds for big data, for mission-specific endeavors, ERP systems, training and simulation, email, development, all different flavors," says 2013 • SMART ENTERPRISE 25

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