The Cloud and e-Governance on the Rise16 May, 2013 By: Sand Sinclair, Editor
The advantages and services of the "cloud" are endless. So much variety, so many ways to manage content and services (and brokers) that when you stop and think about it, the prospect of how to manage data is only growing larger.
As the world of the cloud and its uses continues to turn, and electronic technology evolves at rapid speed (imagine when you can extend your business visit abroad by simply applying for an online visa, or voting in a Presidential Election when out of the country with just the click of a mouse?) - yet our government, (and most others) still have a long way to go to making convenient access to government services via the Internet a firm reality. The good news is that e-governance is on the rise and cost-effective cloud technology could spearhead its onward march. As more services are being integrated across sectors and agencies, the UN forecasts that more complex public sector services of the future will be delivered via the cloud.
The USA currently leads the global adoption of cloud technology in the public sector. As part of its "Cloud First" strategy, all US government IT investments in the steady-state will have to include an analysis of cloud-based alternatives in their budget submissions by September 2013. In fact, the US had already initiated the use of cloud-based collaboration systems such as Google Documents, and was the first government-wide system on the cloud back in 2010.
What is the most visible advantage of the cloud you ask? Well, it is cost efficiency. For instance, when USA.gov - the Federal Government's primary information portal - moved to a cloud-based solution, it brought in a whopping 72% cost saving of $1.7 million. But reduction in ICT spending touches only the tip of the iceberg. Governments are also adopting cloud technology for greater scalability, access to the latest technology, and the elimination of procurement hassles with universal access to wider resources.
Cloud technology and the virtualization of storage space have enabled governments to pursue the goal of green IT as well. The consumer likes that idea and so should you!
Overall, with these type of advantages, cloud technology in e-governance is expected to see higher adoption levels. It's important that you consider to adopt measures for your company that lead you toward gaining the 'cloud' advantage. Government is one important sector of a wide variety of other vertical markets as well...consider education, legal, banking, and so forth. The opportunities are endless.