Sunday, May 04, 2008

In The Cloud


All the talk now is about cloud computing, software as a service and combinations of those. Utility computing, the buzzword of perhaps 2002 has been reborn and, perhaps even turned into a product that will make money - and not just from advertising.

With that in mind, I wonder who will be the first government department, in the world, to:

1. Move their desktop application suite to a hosted software as a service model with Exchange, Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Sharepoint (or Google or open source equivalents). I'm not expecting too many people to do the same for their mobile users just yet but it is, in theory, viable.

2. Deploy an entire web-based application - perhaps a website (either content only or content plus transactions) - into Google's cloud such that the government department no longer owns any of the infrastructure or software that supports that web application.

Has anyone done this already? I'd be impressed and surprised. If not, when will the first such government department, anywhere in the world, announce that they are now a virtual IT department (at least in part)?


  1. Should national governments not create their own "cloud" so they can define their specifications and requirements especially with regard to security and privacy ? This does not mean private companies are not involved (like google etc.) but that the government sets the stage, define the quality parameters, instead of let all the different government agencies choose their own supplier and loose all control on privacy/security in the process.

    And i am also very interested in some actual examples of cloud computing in the government context

    (civil servant, the netherlands)

  2. Erik, I absolutely agree. I have a post in draft on that topic that I must finish. Are you doing anything like that in the Netherlands?

  3. Alan, in the netherlands there is a lot of attention for architecture, standards and opensource both on the central and local levels of government.
    Several municipalities (70) have even organised themselves to procure a common SaaS solution (andez-3). Cloud computing as such is not discussed as far i am aware. Looking forward to your post.

  4. Alan, Erik,

    This "public cloud" theme is very stimulating to me. Also in Italy there is a wide attention to open source in public administration. Have you got any news on the subject since the last post?