News

CIOs: Moving Data in Cloud Doesn't Change Ownership

A panel of defense and civilian agency CIOs discussed the notion that moving applications to a cloud computing provider does not mean giving up control of the data -- as long as agencies get a guarantee in writing.

For example, agency managers moving to the cloud have to stipulate upfront in their contracts that ownership of data must remain with the agency, agency CIOs engaged in cloud implementation told attendees at the recent Cloud/Gov 2011 conference.

The CIOs spoke about acquisition, cloud governance, data ownership, return on investment and workforce issues related to the cloud Feb. 17 at the conference held by the Software Information and Industry Association and the consulting firm Input in Washington, D.C.

The Veterans Affairs Administration, for example, has developed a private cloud that runs in a commercial provider's facility.

"We made sure that when the contract was put in place that our folks understood and the provider understood that we are not giving the data and business rules away," said Stephen Warren, VA's deputy CIO.

If an agency is in a situation in which its contract is about to expire and the agency managers want to move to another service provider, they've got a problem if someone else owns their business rules. "Now you are not only paying to get out, you're also paying to get in," Warren said. The VA makes sure that it owns data that is core to VA's mission of providing service to veterans, he said.

"We have 25 applications at [the Securities and Exchange Commission] in the cloud," said SEC CIO Thomas Bayer. "All of our vendor contracts [stipulate] we own the data, workflow and IT associated with the management of those systems. We are moving more into the cloud and that is a prerequisite," Bayer said.

"I think part of the message to the business community is there is no long-term lock-in based on the cloud," VA's Warren said. "We still run across some folks who don't get that," he said. "There isn't a guarantee of 50 years of revenue."

Cloud computing has the potential of letting agencies share capital expenditure risks with vendors, which is what Keith Trippie, executive director of enterprise system development for the Homeland Security Department, likes about the shifting business model.

The traditional vendor license model is very complex, he said. Open-source software is helping to drive down costs. However, technology providers should be willing to develop pay-for-what-you-use revenue models rather that continue to promote a licensing model where software and equipment wind up on the shelf unused.

"I think if the vendor community will take that step, then we'll see a shift in the business model," Trippie said.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is the senior technology editor of Government Computer News (GCN.com).

Featured

  • Azure Edge Zones Hit Preview

    Azure Edge Zones, a new edge computing technology from Microsoft designed to enable new scenarios for developers and partners, emerged as a preview release this week.

  • Microsoft Shifts 2020 Events To Be Online Only

    Microsoft is shifting its big events this year to be online only, including Ignite 2020.

  • Microsoft Browser Support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 Ending 2H 2020

    Microsoft announced on Tuesday that its plans to drop support for Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocols 1.0 and 1.1 in its browsers will get delayed by a few months until the second half of this year.

  • Attackers Using Excel Read-Only Files To Obscure Malware

    Attackers can attempt to hide malicious payloads in Excel files sent by e-mail by using a standard Excel feature, according to a Tuesday post by Mimecast researchers.

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.