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Cloud Computing Can Save Real Money

New report from the Brookings Institute estimates 25% to 50% savings for government organizations

By joltsik on Thu, 04/08/10 - 12:55pm.

There is a tremendous amount of IT thought leadership taking place in Washington DC that few people in the private sector are aware of.

Case in point, the Brookings Institute hosted a policy forum to discuss the economic benefits of cloud computing. Participants in this event included Federal CIO Vivek Kundra and others.

Darrell M. West, Vice President and Director at the Brookings Institute presented the findings of an internal research study based upon the savings achieved by various government organizations that adopted cloud computing. Based upon this research, Brookings believes that by moving applications or IT infrastructure to the cloud, government organizations can save between 25% and 50% by using cloud resources instead of relying on homegrown IT efforts.

Videos from the event as well as the final report are available at this URL:

http://www.brookings.edu/events/2010/0407_cloud_computing.aspx

My take-aways:

1. Great job by Brookings in basing its savings numbers on case studies rather than models and theory.

2. As I mentioned, all of the good work being done inside the Beltway often unknown to the rest of the country. Mr. Kundra should explore ways that the feds can do a better job of getting the word out. Relying on government-focused think tanks like Brookings or Washington-based industry groups is not working.

3. Moving IT activities comes down to 2 things: IT skills and supporting the business mission. If IT skills are weak in a particular area like security, backup/recovery, or network monitoring, find a cloud provider who can do it better than you can. Ditto for applications and IT functions that aren't core to the organizational mission. Do people working for the City of Los Angeles need email? Absolutely. Does running email applications and servers support the City of LA government's mission? Absolutely not.