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Cloud for Clunkers: The 25 Point Plan to Accelerate Open Government

Vivek Kundra wants to transform Government IT projects from slow and monolithic to fast and modular

Vivek Kundra, White House CIO, has just published a 25 point plan to reform federal IT spending, to deliver better Business Value to the American public for their $80 billion a year spending.

What is exciting to our Cloud Ventures point of view is the shift to a “Cloud first” procurement policy. Kundra wants to transform IT projects from slow and monolithic to fast and modular, achieved by utilizing the Cloud, and this will drive a wave of new Cloud industry innovation and growth.

He explains the heart of Cloud computing by clarifying the primary business benefit of the technology, illustrated through describing the difference between a commercial business utilizing the Cloud, a movie-sharing start-up using it for their web site, versus the ‘Car Allowance and Rebate System’ government project, otherwise known as ‘Cash for Clunkers’. In contrast they opted for the ‘traditional’ in-house data-centre approach.

Both experienced a “flash mob” level of traffic, but where the Cloud-based site was able to fluidly adapt, scaling from 50 to 4,000 virtual machines in 3 days, the Cash for Clunkers project was unable to cope, having numerous outages and service disruptions. Being locked into this inflexible system meant it took over a month to finally stabilize the project.

Kundra wants the US Government to avoid this for all future projects, making a wholesale shift to the new, advanced level of IT capability, and has outlined a 25-point strategy for achieving this.

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