The US Army has formally outlined a plan to take its information technology (IT) to the cloud in report from the Office of the Army Chief Information Officer (CIO)/G-6, aptly titled “Army Cloud Computing Strategy.”
In an official blog post released in conjunction with the report, Army Deputy Chief Information Officer Gary Wang said that the Army is working with “key mission partners to enable success of a cloud-enabled network in support of a globally responsive and regionally aligned force.”
It seems that the Army, like the enterprise before them, has seen the light: storing data in the cloud is more pragmatic than on-premise, as is running IT solutions and big data analytics. In his blog post, Wang wrote that “transitioning to cloud-based solutions and services advances the Army’s long-term objective to reduce our ownership, operation and sustainment of hardware and other commoditized IT.”
However, Army adoption of cloud technology will not be a speedy process. The timeline for what the report calls a “fully leveraged optimal mix of approved government and commercial cloud service providers” is 10 years.
The cause for that delay? Security.
As with the private sector, security is the number one factor holding back adoption of cloud computing in the government and public sector. And the Army’s data is quite a bit more sensitive than the average enterprise.
In keeping with the Department of Defense’s Security Requirements for Cloud Computing, the Army will be taking a very cautious route with cloud adoption.
“We must take care not to compromise the mission by unrealistically trading the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical data and information in pursuit of the benefits the cloud may offer,” says Deputy Chief CIO Wang.
Despite these concerns, the Army report says that “generally, migration [to cloud] will improve security,” as well as reducing operating costs, and improving efficiency.
“I am confident that the transition to cloud-based solutions and services will enable the Army to successfully provide the robust network necessary for our warfighters anytime, anywhere,” says Wang.
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