If you're like me, you probably understand that cloud concepts represent a transformational way of doing IT.
That is the exact question addressed very successfully by the CLOUD2 report, a compelling piece of work from a broad representation of industry and government stakeholders, co-chaired by Michael Capellas of VCE.
While I'm not generally a fan of comprehensive public policy reports, this one perhaps deserves some of your attention.
First, it provides a case study on the ideal role of government when faced with transformational technology shifts, such as cloud. Second, the recommendations (while specific to the government's role) can largely be translated to the private sector, especially for organizations operating at global scale.
And, finally, the recommendations largely transcend technology and vendor bias -- no small feat in itself.
A Few Highlights
Listen to Michael Capellas deliver this short yet brilliant explanation of what is cloud and why it matters:
Next, consider this quick backgrounder from Michael describing the report, how it came to be, and what he thinks it represents (the color corrects itself in 2 seconds, so don't worry):
The report itself "Cloud First, Cloud Fast: Recommendations For Innovation, Leadership and Job Creation" can be found at the TechAmerica Foundation site, here.
You'll also find the "Cloud Buyers' Guide For Government" as well -- a good read for private sector companies as well :)
You also might be interested in this interaction where a legislator asks the panel "where should the government avoid meddling" (!) and the thoughtful response (from 58:00 to 1:03)
Finally, I'll offer up this excerpt of the longer briefing where the topic of data sovereignty comes up, and is thoughtfully discussed. The problem is simple: information flows and the clouds that support them are becoming global. An EU country, for example, will look at something like the US Patriot Act and be justifiably concerned about unrestricted information access. The same topic is discussed at length in the report itself.
Scroll through to about 16:10 -- you can't really hear the question, but the answer is insightful.
A Few Thoughts
First, I'm rather thankful that the whole topic of cloud computing is on the US legislative agenda. The government spends a lot on IT, and -- as a taxpayer -- I'm glad they're looking at it.
Second, I'm rather pleased that question isn't more regulation, it's more of an open question as to where public policy can help, and where it can hurt. The right questions are being asked.
Finally, I'm especially delighted that EMC and VCE are involved and helping to both lead and contribute to this process. Michael Capellas is an excellent spokesperson on this topic, and I for one am glad that he's investing his time and passion on the topic.