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Open Standards in the Cloud

I recently stumbled upon an upcoming event called Government Community Cloud: Building Shared Service Cloud Centres.  Although ostensibly a Canadian-focused event, there is at least one U.S. government represented in the current attendee list.  It looks like it could be an interesting session and is hosted by the Cloud Computing Best Practices Network, a forum of the world’s leading Cloud Computing experts, sharing best practices.  They appear to have a healthy representation of content directed at government audiences.   

The event in question is a webinar that will introduce the group’s Government Community Cloud best practices program, and will cover topics like Shared Services best practices, the NIST Community Cloud model, application catalogs and vendor profiles.  From reviewing the site, the group seems to be dedicated to developing and using open standards and they will use this opportunity to announce the progress of their Open Cloud Ecosystem program.  Areas of standards work include portability, open data sharing and best practice sharing. 

The session seems interesting because of the focus on standards, especially around data portability.  Government agencies are rightly concerned with issues such as portability, and many cloud providers don’t necessarily understand the unique needs of government with respect to IT.  Also, in a recent forum organized by Cisco, several government CIOs from around the world openly stated their belief that their market was essentially too small to be of interest to the big-box vendors.  While this may or may not be true, these types of consortia of interested experts focused on helping government customers through this computing transition are a terrific resource and asset.

 What are your thoughts on the use of standards, especially open standards, in cloud computing for government?

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