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The Cloud Is Here to Stay

A recent article in The New York Times discussed how security concerns are contributing to the reluctance of federal agencies and businesses to migrate their IT operations to the cloud.  While some of these concerns are legitimate, given the benefits of the cloud, the transition seems inevitable and the longer we wait, the more money is wasted.

In the past, businesses of all sizes and government agencies spent billions of dollars on IT hardware and software.  Much of this technology was proprietary which required costly ongoing upgrades.  In addition, the workforce was less mobile and with limited access to the Internet. Cloud computing is here to stay because the efficiencies and cost savings are game changers.  

Here are some of the compelling benefits that will cause many federal agencies and businesses to migrate to a cloud environment. 

Mobility: employees and customers are no longer tethered to their desktops and they can access their data from anywhere so long as they have access to the Internet and a handheld device, including laptops.

Easy Updates: businesses and government agencies no longer have to worry about server and software updates, and instead can provide users with a seamless online experience via cloud services.

Reduced Costs: the cloud model is pay as you go which allows organizations to scale up or down services instantly to meet their current needs, while also eliminating the start-up costs associated with purchasing new IT hardware.

Data Storage Costs: the capacity for storing data increases yearly because that is how fast the technology evolves.  These technological improvements have the effect of reducing the costs that consumers have to pay to store their data in the cloud. 

There are several issues that have to be worked out, such as developing a consistent standard for securing data in the cloud, but efforts are underway. For instance, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has a current cloud project to help federal agencies migrate data and services to the cloud in a safe and secure manner.  Furthermore, cloud providers recognize that clients are concerned with the security of proprietary data and the cloud services marketplace is so competitive that new, innovative and secure cloud services are rapidly emerging to fill this market need.