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Industry Standards Drive Cloud Adoption

Applying this enabling technology to core business and mission objectives

With a focus on developing affordable solutions that drive innovation for our customers' missions, I believe that the development of cloud standards can have a positive impact on cloud adoption. The more than 370 members of the cross-domain Cloud Standards Customer Council (CSCC) are providing customer-focused business and mission requirements that help drive the adoption and usefulness of cloud standards, especially in the areas of security, interoperability and data portability. The public and private sectors are making important contributions and we need to continue the progress industry and government have made in the development of standards.

In thinking about the way standards positively impact cloud adoption, three main themes arise:

First, open standards are important not only because they help accelerate the adoption of cloud computing, but also because technical cloud standards actually impact innovation and enable more innovative business models and technical solutions. With open standards in place we can more easily create new services - such as harnessing the power of mobile and utilizing social media collaboration - and do so more quickly. It's like using building blocks to build a foundation rather than unique fragments.

For that innovation to occur, the industry offers a unique perspective in the development of these technical standards. The CSCC has developed industry use cases that highlight gaps that standards need to fill and these help to shape the priorities of standards development organizations. These use cases accelerate the development of reference implementations (or cloud prototypes) that guide the development of cloud standards, and are generally requisite for their approval.

Second, we're encouraged by an increased standards development focus on the three areas that are most significant to cloud adoption - cloud security (which remains the top impediment), cloud interoperability (hybrid cloud models are driving interoperability requirements), and data portability (the need to move data easily from the enterprise to clouds and across clouds). Organizations that are producing standards have looked at these three priority areas and created significant momentum around them. Soon we'll have standards that help customers achieve best practice engagement of cloud providers on the three issues that matter most, with a beneficial effect on cloud adoption.

And third, the positive influence of Government. Government is playing an important leadership role in the development of cloud standards and making significant advances. For example, the National Institute of Science and Technology, the Department of Homeland Security and the General Services Administration have all been extremely focused on cloud standards, with special attention to security, cloud interoperability and data portability. In fact, the National Institute of Science and Technology's definition for cloud computing and its cloud security baseline as expressed in the Federal Risk and Authorization Program (FedRAMP) are becoming de facto standards. The efforts of these government agencies have made significant impact on cloud adoption and the development of open cloud standards.

As cloud computing based on open standards continues to gain ground and issues like security, interoperability and portability are addressed, we'll see greater ability to apply this enabling technology to core business and mission objectives.

More Stories By Melvin Greer

Melvin Greer is Senior Fellow and Chief Strategist, Cloud Computing, Lockheed Martin, Chief Technology Office. With over 25 years of systems and software engineering experience, he is a recognized expert in Service-Oriented Architecture and Cloud Computing. He functions as a principal investigator in advanced research studies. He significantly advances the body of knowledge in basic research and critical, highly advanced engineering and scientific disciplines. Mr. Greer is a Certified Enterprise Architect, the Vice-chair of the Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium (NCOIC), Cloud Computing Working Group and an Advisory Council member of the Cloud Security Alliance.

Greer received his BS in Computer Information Systems and Technology and his MS in Information Systems from American University, Wash. D.C. He also completed the Executive Leadership Program at the Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School.

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