Cloud news roundup

India’s Prime Minister Narenda Modi has unveiled an ambitious plan to bring the cloud to every Indian citizen. The website—MyGov.in—will store citizens’ vital records (e.g. birth, death, or marriage certificates) in a huge, easily-accessible digital locker.

China also has its eye on the cloud, initiating a cloud-computing program in its 13th Five Year Plan. The prospect has both Chinese and foreign companies salivating, with the cloud market in China estimated to grow to almost $5 billion by 2015. Companies there are jockeying for position to be the country’s supplier of security products.

Finally, NASA has set its sights a little lower than the moon—the agency is currently undergoing a massive cloud migration, freeing 110 of its applications from the surly bonds of physical storage space. It’s got far to go, though. Many of its applications were and are running on outdated systems and involved huge amounts of sensitive information.

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Disaster recovery and supply chain moving into the cloud

This week we’ll be showing you what assets companies are migrating to the cloud. As shown in the chart below, almost two-thirds of companies expect their disaster recovery systems to be cloud based in two years.

Click to enlargeWindstreamQ18.2

Government/education companies are significantly more likely to have disaster recovery in the cloud, both today and in two years.

Cloud-based supply chain systems are set to experience 41% growth. Smaller companies with revenues less than $500 million will lag in that area, with little more than 40% of companies expecting to have cloud-based supply chains by 2016.

As our survey results have shown, larger and more profitable companies are significantly more likely to have cloud-based assets today and expect to retain a comfortable lead.

Cloud News Roundup

  • CMS put together a list of five key steps for migrating your company’s SharePoint content to the cloud. However, since SharePoint has limited migration tools, the task can be difficult. Some things to keep in mind: consider which cloud configuration is right for your business, establish a realistic timeline, identify what content is needed and what can be left behind, test the migration, and verify the results.
  • While the U.S. government is experiencing some hiccups in migrating to the cloud, the San Francisco city government will soon become the first major city to upgrade to a single cloud network. The city will be using Microsoft’s Office 365, which is compliant with the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) guidelines, which unites police, safety, and health departments under one cloud. Microsoft also accommodated the city’s accelerated migration timeline,  simplifying the process and building specific paths to complete the migration.
  • The next wave of cloud migration is likely in human resources. Many companies still use decade-old HR systems and applications, are see an opportunity in switching to cloud-based human relationship management (HRM) software, rather than going through a lengthy and painful migration phase. The average timeframe for a switch to HRM software is about three months.

Long road for the government’s cloud migration

“Federal agencies have a long road ahead of them in their migration to cloud computing. Even after the decision to migrate is made, uncertainty looms about the best way to approach the migration for government agencies.”

An article on BSMinfo.com details some of the challenges for the government’s (eventual) migration to the cloud. These challenges mirror those faced by any organization moving to the cloud, but on a massive scale.

In 2012, the Government Accountability Office detailed seven specific challenges for government implementation of the cloud, a list that should sound familiar to any organization in the process of migrating to the cloud: obtaining guidance, acquiring knowledge and expertise, certifying and accrediting vendors, ensuring data portability and interoperability, meeting federal safety requirements, overcoming cultural barriers, and procuring services on an on-demand basis. Two years on, those challenges still exist, and recent events and legislation further complicate matters.

Many agencies have a fast-approaching June 5 deadline to comply with fedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program), and recent security breaches highlight potential vulnerabilities of the cloud. Even then, government agencies have no clear exit plan once the migration happens. The government has a long way to go, but the path is laid out—the trick is sticking to it.