Empowering Government on the Cloud

Conceptual picture of GaaP

Empowering Government on the Cloud with Government as a a Platform

It is rare that a technology comes along that is so disruptive that it revolutionizes not just the technology platforms, but also naturally leads to new types of systems, accelerated delivery models, new procurement approaches and business models.  Cloud is that innovation.

When we started talking about Cloud, it was just as an inexpensive way for people to get hold of computing resources.  A few cents per hour for a server and a few cents more for a pre-built and working open source platform.  The platform can then be used within minutes for development and test purposes.  It is, of course, a lot cheaper and quicker than shelling out for a dedicated environment.  I’ve configured environments on both Amazon and IBM clouds and it makes the old ways look embarrassing and ancient.

However the true power of Cloud is not that it provides cheap model for computing; in fact when you fill the skills ‘gap’ between conventional outsourced hosting models and the price for a sizeable, robust Cloud-based production environment, there is far less difference in terms of price than you might expect.  It is not the cost that means that Cloud is changing the world, it is the empowerment and the ability to avoid old, slow and highly governed processes.  Those processes used to stifle progress by raising the hidden costs of development.  These were the time and costs of environment procurement, installation and provisioning; the building of the software stack; the commercial and formal hurdles to create a new production environment and link to the right networks and protect it with the right firewalls.  All of that pain and delay is now reduced to a few mouse clicks.

Using IBM’s BlueMix Platform as a Service, I now routinely create live proof of concepts in less time that it took some IBM Fellows and Distinguished Engineers to tell me how the technology worked and how revolutionary it was.  That was the moment when I knew IBM ‘got’ Cloud and that it could help reform Governments.  The critical thing is to make sure that the platforms on which Governments build services are as open and standards based as possible.

This video is the first in a series that introduces IBM’s approach to Government as a Platform and how to get there – we hope you find them informative – and a little bit more interesting than a lengthy blog post!

Distinguished Engineer - GBS Public Sector Europe CTO

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