Larry Clinton, President, Internet Security Alliance
Like most large enterprises, the US federal government is seriously considering large scale deployment of cloud technology. The reason is many in the government are jubilant over the prospects of going to the cloud is the same as others, greater efficiency, greater workface mobility, new ways to reach consumers (constituents) with ever more taliored services. And then there is the money---estimates are the federal government could save up to $50 billion by broad cloud deployment.
On the other hand there is the fear. There is growing fear, at the highest levels of government, of cyber attacks. There is fear that traditional forms of management, including liability, compliance and accountability will have to be radically altered. There is fear of the unknown.
And there is much that is unknown because digitalization has changed virtually everything, concepts of privacy, national defense, sense of self and certainly---economics.
In response to these fears legislation is brewing in Congress that, at least at the moment asserts an increasingly paternalistic role for the government over cyber systems framed in what maybe a largely outmoded structure ill fitting cloud technology. There are alternative ideas being circulated but industry will need to get substantially more engaged in the public policy debate if fear is not to triumph.