Recently, public sector cloud adoption took another leap forward as the Department of Defense released its four-step strategy for the phased implementation of a DOD Enterprise Cloud Environment.
Having studied the plan, we can attest to the critical importance of the effort. The anticipated gains in cost efficiency (moving from a CapEx model to an OpEx model), operational efficiency, and resource optimization will be felt -- as DOD Chief Information Officer Teri Takai puts it -- “from the continental United States to the warfighter at the tactical edge.”
However, we should note that this is just the first step.
Data center consolidation, as positioned in the DOD plan, will be the major catalyst for driving the DOD cloud environment forward and provide the foundation for further cloud-based innovations that could have an even greater direct impact on the American warfighter.
For instance, DOD’s shared services model – made possible by the consolidation of data centers – will likely follow the lead of the federal civilian government’s initiative (using DISA in place of GSA as a cloud services broker).
It’s also true that – once this catalog of cloud services is fully realized – we’re likely to see inter- and intra-agency capabilities offered “as-a-service” that we haven’t seen before, such as perhaps eDiscovery-as-a-Service.
The DOD cloud environment will also set the stage for advances in cloud-based mobility (e.g., solutions for “any-device” access and interaction with applications from public clouds, private clouds, and web apps) and cloud-based mobile application security (e.g., solutions for securely distributing and managing mobile applications and content).
As said earlier, the effort is a good first step and positions the DoD well for adapting to and keeping pace with the rapid changes brought about by mobility and cloud adoption.