At a recent Congressional Hearing, the Chief Information Officer of the United States Department of Homeland Security testified that migrating key data and systems to a cloud-computing platform might save the department as much 10% of its information technology costs. This cost saving level is significant and represents a way to free up needed resources so they will become available for other pressing needs, a situation that parallels the financial needs of business enterprises as well.
Cloud Concerns Also Discussed
In addition to cost savings, however, cloud computing does present some IT services challenges as well. These were also discussed at the Congressional hearing, with Representative Bennie Thompson from Mississippi questioning DHS CIO Richard Spires about plans to contract with a managed services company based in North America but outside the United States.
Spires replied with a series of assurances regarding the locations of data centers and the nationality requirements for all personnel who have access to any of the cloud data. Some members of Congress, however, are likely to continue to hold the view that DHS and other national-security operations are best organized through managed services provided by United States providers only.
Enterprises may wish to take the same point of view since foreign companies are not subject to U.S. rules and regulations in the same way that U.S. corporations are. It will most likely be easier for enterprises to work with a U.S. provider than attempt to navigate a system of foreign laws and rules.