It’s a staggering number even for the US federal government. Since 2002, and against the backdrop of a budget deficit that’s now more than $17 trillion, the government has spent $600 billion on information technology alone. By any measure of fiscal responsibility, efficiency and accountably, spending on IT during the period can be considered excessive. Yet it’s only in the last few years that the spending’s root causes have come under closer scrutiny. The overriding reason, of course, is budget control and pressure from the tax-paying masses. But an equally significant reason is the government’s approach to technology itself. To put it carefully, certain technology decisions at the federal level since 2002 have been both curious and questionable. A notable example is this:
At the peak of its $600 billion IT spending spree, the federal government built, operated, and maintained 1,100 data centers for various agency and constituent functions. Yet by the government’s own admissions, they developed data centers that were much larger capacity than needed — and that were “antiquated” by the time of launch. Since then, these centers have remained immensely problematic to modify and sustain. They are often duplicitous, are cross agency inoperable, and continually fail to deliver on their intended mission. Worse is that a large portion of the government’s current $80 billion annual IT budget is spent maintaining this aging infrastructure. (Ironically, current maintenance expenses nearly exceed what it would cost to build the same infrastructure “new” using today’s available technologies.)
The cloud as a feasible solution option
Especially as budget reduction pressures mount, it’s clear the federal government must change its philosophies toward IT and an infrastructure that’s outdated and costly. Getting lean has become mandatory. Moreover with a constituency demanding greater technology ease of use and privacy protection, CIOs and decision makers at the federal level must weigh new technology options and their feasibility. The cloud gives the government one such option, and the present administration agrees.
Read the full article by Abdo Rabadi’s: Cloud-Communications and Government