Federal Communications Commission to Move to the Cloud
In early 2011, the Federal Communications Commission will launch a new, updated website and become the first major federal agency to utilize cloud computing technology to completely support its principal web presence. By moving to cloud technology, the FCC hopes to give a boost to this increasingly popular technology and to improve the FCC’s technology platform. In announcing its move to cloud computing, the FCC’s Managing Director stated, “given that we oversee an industry that should lead this country in innovation, we want to lead the government in the things we do every day as well.” Terremark will manage the FCC’s transition to cloud computing.
The FCC’s move is also designed to motivate other federal agencies to embrace cloud computing. White House Technology Advisors have publicly endorsed and pushed for wider use of cloud computing technology to reduce costs and encourage utilization of current, more efficient and productive software and technology. The FCC’s wholesale move to cloud computing follows a decision by the U.S. General Services Administration to move its e-mail system to Google’s cloud-based applications. NASA is also exploring ways it can employ cloud computing technology.
A significant concern that has prevented some agencies from embracing cloud computing technology is data security. Security issues concerning cloud computing technology were examined at Gibbons Fourth Annual E-Discovery Conference in October 2010. Despite the concern some agencies may have in utilizing cloud computing technology, the pressure will likely grow for agencies to turn towards cloud computing. Businesses and non-governmental organizations that have moved toward cloud computing are already embracing the benefits of the technology, while at the same time developing appropriate steps to guard against its potential risks. The FCC has taken a significant step in ushering in cloud technology to the Federal Government, and other agencies are expected to follow.