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Leading Cloud Thinkers to Government: Cloud Is Imperative for Better Collaboration, Better Service and Better Cost

TechAmerica Foundation Provides Comprehensive Guide on Cloud Computing for State and Local Governments

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/16/12 -- The TechAmerica Foundation today released the highly anticipated recommendations from the State and Local Government Cloud Commission (SLG-CC) that will assist state and local governments in navigating the adoption of cloud computing. The roadmap is designed for state and local officials who seek to deliver better service and cost savings to their constituents. This practical guidance and set of recommendations comes from the leading thinkers on cloud computing.

"Businesses and institutions across the nation have transformed their IT using the cloud, improving their ability to communicate, deliver value, and be competitive. Now is the time for these benefits to accrue to state and local governments as well. What's been missing is a playbook -- and we're delivering that, based on a unique and powerful collaboration of 38 leading technology companies to create better collaboration within and between government agencies; resulting in better services and costs to governments and citizens," said Tarkan Maner, Commission Chair and President and CEO of Wyse Technology.

In addition to the report, the Commission is today unveiling a portal (www.cloud4slg.org) that will capture and share leading practices and emerging trends as cloud computing deployment advances in states and localities.

"This report is just the beginning of this conversation. What these Commissioners, these government advisors and the Foundation hope to achieve is to provide a forum for ongoing dialogue about how cloud computing can help governments respond to the needs of citizens," said Jennifer Kerber, President of the TechAmerica Foundation.

Ms. Kerber went on to explain that the SLG cloud community portal will create a knowledge framework for cloud computing and will be the catalyst for further collaboration and idea exchange.

"Cloud computing is a win-win for governments, for citizens, and for the economy as a whole. It takes the technical complexity out of the hands of an already overworked government IT department while at the same time improving services for citizens," said Gavin Newsom, California Lt. Governor.

"State and local governments are going to be asked to do more with less in coming years," said Dugan Petty, CIO of the State of Oregon and President of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO). "Cloud adoption will support state CIOs in transforming business operations and IT delivery -- and in driving significant cost savings. Deputy State CIO Sean McSpaden and I are pleased to have contributed ideas and case examples to the SLG-CC's report and web portal. We believe those resources will increase information exchange between governments and industry, which can lead to better cloud deployment outcomes."

Key Facts & Recommendations

TechAmerica Foundation's SLG Cloud Commission examined key aspects of cloud adoption for state and local government and developed recommendations in three areas related to the cloud: technical, implementation and acquisition issues. To download the complete report, please visit: http://www.techamericafoundation.org/slg-cc-download

Understanding the Technology for Cloud Computing -- In this section, the report addresses the major technical issues to consider when migrating to a cloud computing environment. Sample recommendations on cloud technologies include:

  • Selecting the right deployment and service models should be a primary consideration;

  • Authentication must be managed across all cloud environments;

  • Cloud environments should include identity management and related user protection capabilities; and

  • Encourage cloud providers to limit the use of proprietary tools and storage platforms.

Implementing the Cloud -- The SLG-CC report proposes a four-stage management structure for transition to cloud. Our recommendations include:

  • Create a multiphase strategy for cloud computing adoption and deployment;

  • Build an inventory of applications to be moved to the cloud;

  • Analyze process and financial impacts, gaps, efficiencies; and

  • Determine how cloud computing will impact current technical operations and architecture considerations.

Acquiring the Cloud -- After deciding to move to the cloud, officials will need to know how to best procure cloud solutions. In this section, we examine cloud procurement vehicles, business models, funding streams and contractual terms. Key recommendations are:

  • We recommend that States create a state RFP/contract vehicle specifically tailored for cloud computing and/or cloud services. This contract vehicle needs to be available for use by local governments in that state including libraries, special districts, school districts, public colleges and universities;

  • When using an existing, non-cloud specific procurement vehicle, use terms and conditions specific to cloud services; and

  • Develop and require specific terms and conditions for data portability, records management, security and privacy, and SLAs.

The recommendations from the SLG-CC are a continuation of the TechAmerica Foundation's leadership on cloud deployment both within the U.S. and around the world. In July, the Foundation delivered a blueprint for the federal government's adoption of cloud computing, which aimed to further the Obama Administration's cloud-first strategy for government technology and for driving U.S. commercial leadership and innovation in the cloud. For more information on the Foundation's cloud work please visit: www.techamericafoundation.org

The Commission's report is the result of a unique and powerful collaboration between representatives of 38 leading technology companies and a dozen leading government officials: 42six Solutions; 8x8, Inc.; ACS, A Xerox Company; AT&T; Brocade; CA Technologies; Capgemini Government Solutions; CGI; Cisco; Cognizant Technology Solutions; Dell; Deloitte Consulting LLP; EMC Corporation; Google; Grant Thornton; GTSI; Harris Corporation; HP; IBM; Infosys Public Services; Intel Corporation; KPMG; Lockheed Martin; Microsoft; Morphlabs; nCircle; Oracle Corporation; Panasonic System Networks; SAIC; SAP AG; Symantec Corporation; Syntel; TransLattice, Inc.; Trend Micro; Unisys Corporation; Verizon; Virtustream; and Wyse Technology.

About TechAmerica Foundation
TechAmerica Foundation educates industry executives, policy makers and opinion leaders on the promise of technological innovation to advance prosperity, security and the general welfare. Launched in 1981, the Foundation is a 501c(3) non-profit, non-partisan affiliate of TechAmerica, which is the leading voice and resource for the U.S. technology industry. The Foundation disseminates award-winning industry, policy and market research covering topics such as U.S. competitiveness in a global economy, innovation in government, and other areas of national interest. It also organizes conferences and seminars to explore pertinent issues with government and industry representatives and to share the Foundation's findings. Learn more about TechAmerica Foundation at www.techamericafoundation.org.

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