GOVERNMENT COMPUTING FLOATS INTO ITS OWN CLOUDS
For organizations which must meet steep security and accountability compliance standards, private clouds built to meet these standards are an excellent answer. Government is, of course, a good example of this need. IBM has been working with governments of every size for many years to help them not only comply with these requirements, but also bring the best services to each situation at the right price.
This week, IBM has announced both a Federal Cloud for its
Government agencies of any size and type face high levels of stress. All of them are facing the demand for more services, a transformation to more modern and more powerful ways of using information, and significant pressure to cut budgets in a time of lower revenue.
IBM's Federal Community Cloud (FCC) will enable data and services to reside in secure, scalable data centers that can be quickly accessed by federal organizations at a fraction of the cost. The capabilities are dynamic and scalable to help organizations meet government consolidation policies mandated by Obama administration Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra in February.
The FCC will provide a secure, private, multi-tenant cloud which will offer the flexibility to meet changing demand, a reduction in costs, and faster implementation time. This Infrastructure as a Service offering (IaaS) will soon be joined by Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings. The FCC is in the process of obtaining FISMA certification.
IBM is working with fifteen federal agencies on private clouds, including the Department of Housing & Urban Development, Department of Defense (Army, Navy, and Air Force), Department of Homeland Security, Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Health & Human Services – to provide cloud and data center capabilities to quickly build, manage, operate and analyze complex computing environments.
The IBM Municipal Shared Services Cloud integrates services from multiple providers on an easy-to-use platform that governments nationwide can share with a combination of advanced data analytics and SaaS. The new cloud platform will improve municipal operations, add Web-based citizen services, allow integrated data analysis, and provide better transparency. Government employees will save time, increase productivity, and provide better, faster information to citizens.
IBM is working with the New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) and the Michigan Municipal League (MML) to help their member municipalities operate more effectively. NYCOM and MML will coordinate the participation of their members in the pilot, and both see the IBM platform as an effective way to provide constituency services.
Private Clouds like these are often called Community Clouds – meant to serve the needs of an invited group of organizations, with services directed at their particular needs. We’d expect some government agencies to do some of their computing in these Community Clouds, some in private clouds reserved for their own use, and some in their on-premise IT facilities. Of course, moving data and computing workloads between these environments will be an important theme for the future.