Once only a pipe dream of forward-thinking techies, cloud
computing is advancing by leaps into Americans' daily computing
experience. The idea is that users, rather than keeping their files and
programs on a single personal computer, store them in a "cloud" of
server banks, allowing them to access the files from anywhere. Now some experts are wondering if cloud computing could help
save small businesses by allowing them to drastically cut costs. Here's
their case. (Hat tip: Like so many great things, we first heard about
this from Matthew Yglesias
Clouds Save Money The Brookings Institution's Darrell West
discovers cloud computing's cost-saving potential. He recommends the
federal government use cloud computing, which he says could save
To evaluate the possible cost savings a federal
agency might expect from migrating to the cloud, in this study I review
past studies, undertake case studies of government agencies that have
made the move, and discuss the future of cloud computing. I found that
the agencies generally saw between 25 and 50 percent savings in moving
to the cloud. For the federal government as a whole, this translates
into billions in cost savings, depending on the scope of the transition.
It's Perfect for Government Spending Tech Daily Dose's Juliana Gruenweld recounts
a speech by Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra. "In the
government, it can take years to procure, configure and deploy
technology solutions," Kundra said. "By using cloud services, the
federal government will gain access to powerful technology resources
faster and at lower costs. This frees us to focus on mission-critical
tasks instead of purchasing, configuring and maintaining redundant
- Helps Small Businesses Compete Big
ReadWriteWeb's Alex Williams concedes
that switching to the cloud isn't easy and could be costly at first.
But "cloud computing is one of those classic disruptions to a business
that over time becomes part of the fabric for a how a company operates."
But, as businesses grow, being on the cloud eliminates the need for
costly infrastructure purchases, like buying servers or upgrading
physical hardware. "Companies that can take advantage of it may be best
positioned to compete against their larger counterparts."
Governments Already Saving Google's Harry Wingo beams, "Conrad Cross from the City of Orlando
was on the panel this morning as well, talking about how his city
reduced IT costs by
60% by using Google Apps. And the City of Los Angeles -- which adopted
Google Apps a few months ago and expects to save millions of
dollars a year -- makes a cameo in Brookings’ report." He concludes,
"Brookings made several recommendations in their new paper on how
policymakers can do that, and we hope Congress will take up their
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