|By Jeremy Geelan||
|September 17, 2009 09:30 PM EDT||
"Like a utility such as electricity or water, cloud computing allows users to only consume what they need, to grow or shrink their use as their needs change, and to only pay for what they actually use," wrote U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra in his official blog this week, as he announced the launch of Apps.gov "to help continue the President’s initiative to lower the cost of government operations while driving innovation within government."
Describing the new site as "a one-stop source for cloud services – an innovation that not only can change how IT operates, but also save taxpayer dollars in the process," Kundra stressed that his hope for Apps.gov was to give agencies more rapid access to innovative IT solutions, so that they can spend less time and taxpayer dollars on procedural items and focus more on using technology to achieve their missions.
His vision is most easily summarized in this paragraph:
Apps.gov is an online storefront for federal agencies to quickly browse and purchase cloud-based IT services, for productivity, collaboration, and efficiency. Cloud computing is the next generation of IT in which data and applications will be housed centrally and accessible anywhere and anytime by a various devices (this is opposed to the current model where applications and most data is housed on individual devices). By consolidating available services, Apps.gov is a one-stop source for cloud services – an innovation that not only can change how IT operates, but also save taxpayer dollars in the process."
Kundra underlined that, as with Data.gov, the new site "is starting small – with the goal of rapidly scaling it up in size."
He acknowledged that along the way, it would be necessary to address various issues related to security, privacy, information management and procurement to expand the Government's cloud computing services.
"Over time, as we work through these concerns and offer more services through Apps.gov, federal agencies will be able to get the capabilities they need to fulfill their missions at lower cost, faster, and ultimately, in a more sustainable manner," Kundra wrote.
The federal government spends over $75 billion annually on IT. As Kundra wrote, this technology "supports every mission our government performs— from defending our borders to protecting the environment."
"IT is essential for the government to do its work," he added, "and it is essential that we have access to the latest and most innovative technologies."
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