Ballmer's cloud computing memo timed for election's winner
Big platform changes are coming, Ballmer writes. Was he writing about Washington?
Computerworld - WASHINGTON -- With next week's presidential election, the nation's capitol is about to experience the mother-of-all platform changes, and that's why Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's cloud computing memo, titled "A Platform for the Next Technology Revolution," seems especially well timed.
In the days immediately following the election, the president-elect will dispatch transition teams. And since both Barack Obama and John McCain's campaigns have relied heavily on social networking sites and other cloud-based services to help their campaigns, these transition teams may come to Washington with a different attitude about what they want from federal IT systems.
That's why next week's election may create an opportunity for vendors to pitch new technology directions, and cloud services adoption in particular, said Michael Farber, a vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., a management consulting firm with a number of federal clients.
Farber said he believes the period following the election will be a fertile time to "structure a pilot and forge a partnership with Google."
Ballmer's memo, which echoed the sweeping, change-is-at-hand message of Bill Gates' 1995 Internet Tidal Wave memo, bundles the cloud, social networking, and the diversity of access devices, to argue that a "dramatic transformation" is taking place in IT. The vendors are already pushing federal IT managers to adopt some of these changes.
Microsoft and other cloud services providers including Google, believe their platforms can handle the government's most sensitive material. At a small forum here that included government IT managers from the data processing-intensive intelligence community such as one who identified himself (to chuckles from the audience) as from a "non-descript" federal agency, attendees raised questions about the security of cloud services.
The vendors say they can tackle security issues with their cloud services. Following the panel, Ron Markezich, corporate vice president of Microsoft Online, said he believes the company's new cloud platform Windows Azure would meet classified requirements, regardless of if it is in one of Microsoft's data centers or one operated by a partner. The U.S. already uses private data center providers for some of its classified data processing, he pointed out.
Cloud platforms create opportunities for new kinds of threats, but they may also be harder for someone to develop an exploit for if less open than a server or desktop operating system, panelists said. Michael Nelson, a visiting professor of Internet studies at Georgetown University, said what may help cloud providers in developing secure platforms will be their ability to hire workers with an interest in the latest technologies and stock options, not running IT for a grocery chain.
One issue that could pose a problem for cloud providers may be the availability of bandwidth. Nicholas Carr, a panel moderator and author of a recent book on IT's role in the world titled The Big Switch, asked if with Web services' increase if the U.S. might become "bandwidth capacity constrained" and require businesses and government to prioritize certain traffic.
- Q&A: Ray Ozzie steers Microsoft into the cloud
- Seth Weintraub: Microsoft Azure is to cloud computing ...
- Microsoft: We didn't 'forget' Azure trademark
- Oops! Microsoft forgets to trademark 'Windows Azure'
- IT Blogwatch: Ozzie's Azure cloud precipitates PDC promise
- Ozzie details Azure, Microsoft's cloud version of Windows
- John Brandon: Download the cloud: Microsoft Windows Azure
This pilot fish is a contractor at a military base, working on some very cool fire-control systems for tanks. But when he spots something obviously wrong during a live-fire test, he can't get the firing-range commander's attention.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Reduce federal infrastructure risk with compliance management and situational awareness
- IBM continuous monitoring and management solutions deliver real-time situational awareness to help federal agencies understand vulnerabilities, and protect the infrastructure.
- Comprehensive Advanced Threat Defense
- The hot topic in the information security industry these days is "Advanced Threat Defense" (ATD). This paper describes a comprehensive, network-based approach to...
- Advanced Threat Defense: A Comprehensive Approach
- In this interview, Peter George, president, General Dynamics Fidelis Cybersecurity Solutions, explains why we need more than anti-malware, and what constitutes a comprehensive...
- Market Overview: Digital Customer Experience Delivery Platforms
- Forrester states that businesses today struggle to understand and use the tools necessary to create and manage unified, multichannel digital customer experiences across...
- The Growing Demand for Rich Media
- This white paper discusses how IBM Customer Experience Suite Rich Media Edition can automate rich media workflows, from collaborating with creative agencies and... All Government IT White Papers
- On-demand webinar - 7 Keys to Service Catalog Implementation Success Watch this webinar to learn 7 crucial keys to make your service catalog a success!
- Transform Your IT Service Management Watch this webinar, to learn how EasyVista can increase IT productivity & efficiency and deliver streamlined & integrated IT Service & Asset Mgmt.
- IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency...
- Leveraging Flash Storage to Accelerate Oracle Real Application Clusters Join this webinar to understand the latest solid-state storage trends, the specific applications driving solid-state storage deployments and the benefits of deploying the...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- All Government IT Webcasts