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Government Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Dana Gardner, Gopala Krishna Behara

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Business Benefits of a Government Community Cloud

It’s the specific government-classified levels of security compliance that are key

The UberGlobal case study of a Government Community Cloud highlights the key business benefits of this approach.

GSAE : Government Secure Application Environment
Similar to the recent Huddle announcement it’s the specific government-classified levels of security compliance that are key, an “IL3 version” of the collaboration app.

This is achieved by operating the application in a ‘GSAE’ – A Government Secure Application Environment, a data-centre environment that is considered “Government Class”, to a standard required to hosting information of this level of security classification.

It means other governments can follow the blueprint for a GSAE and therefore also adopt secure GovCloud apps the same way.

The UberSoft paper notes that the headline trend that is taking place here is:

“the convergence of enterprise software and hosted infrastructure under a managed services model.”

and that this effect offers powerful benefits for CIOs:

Centralize and consolidate security and application licencing -
Much is made over the security fears of Cloud hosting, but the reality is that lots of IT projects spread around promiscuously presents more risk, as does “rogue sourcing” of Cloud services.

Adopting private Cloud platforms can handle much of the ‘manual labor’ of IT operations, like managing the licencing workloads for popular apps like Microsoft Sharepoint et al. Centralizing this management can also make it easier to apply stricter security controls.

Staff productivity -
The other critical benefit that UberGlobal identifies is how this same approach also makes more software more accessible to more users.

“The majority of government employees make use of the standard Microsoft BPOS suite when collaborating.

Exchange is the standard email technology; SharePoint has a large and growing installation base. Many bespoke applications are built on Microsoft platforms, which can be purchased as a true elastic cloud service through Parallels Automation.

Additionally, the opportunities provided by Lync and Dynamics CRM are probably not considered by many government entities because of the cost and effort to deploy and support them. A Government Community Cloud, providing BPOS Suite and elastic cloud services would reduce a significant amount of duplication between smaller government entities while still allowing a degree of customisation.

Additionally, the use of CDI and a separate instance of Active Directory and BPOS can allow a lead agency to achieve the benefits of cloud services while maintaining a unified identity management schema between its internal and cloud based applications.

While this offering is initially aimed at the small to medium enterprise (SME) market there are a number of attributes that Uber believe would be of great interest to Government, including its per-seat and per-resource pricing model, the agility enabled by such a solution, and the ability to provide transparent cost recovery throughout the layers of Government.”

Business benefits
In conclusion this demonstrates projects like a Government Community Cloud will deliver benefits including:

  • Increased security -
  • Reduced software administration costs -
  • Cost recovery -

Read the original blog entry...

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