Increasing population and growing citizen expectations, all in the shadow of budget constraints, are causing government agencies around the world to look to the cloud to help enable them to do more with less.

Cloud solutions for government not only help enable a more streamlined, productive workforce, but they empower government agencies to meet rising citizen expectations and free up resources for investment in other mission-critical areas.

In India, this rises to a whole new level. The government of India has launched GI Cloud, which is a national cloud initiative that will enable government at various levels to leverage cloud computing for efficient delivery of e-governance services.

The goal of this initiative is ultimately to support the implementation of the National e-Governance Plan of India (NeGP) through the creation of a private cloud environment, which would be used by government agencies or departments at the national, state and local levels to accelerate the delivery of e-services to citizens. This will also increase operational agility and efficiency, and help to pool resources for investment in other key areas. The entire initiative is being carried out in two parts. Part I of the initiative is to replicate successfully implemented applications from few states to all states. The second part will lead to the creation of a common repository of cloud-based resources and applications available on shared basis.

In conjunction with this, the Department of Electronics and IT (DeitY) has also released a draft roadmap to GI Cloud. This roadmap essentially assesses the existing ICT infrastructure and ICT initiatives, as well as potential roadblocks, and then defines a plan for the effective implementation of GI Cloud, including the use of new and existing data centers. The assessment helped define the GI Cloud architecture.

The national cloud, which will be used to provide various cloud services from storage to application development, will be supported by the state clouds, and a GI Cloud Services Directory will be created to help public sector organizations find and subscribe to various applicable services. The directory of services will provide integrated visibility and control helping departments to eliminate the responsibility of lengthy procurement and maintenance of an ICT infrastructure, an exercise which many, especially at state and local levels, find difficult to perform. This will provide an opportunity to agencies going for first time automation to leapfrog as they can buy services directly without going through the entire IT evolution cycle. The pay-per-use model of pricing in cloud will ensure that ICT resources and applications are made available without significant investment in infrastructure purchase. Cloud will also facilitate user mobility facilitating anytime, anywhere availability.

GI Cloud will also reduce the government’s effort in managing technology as cloud offerings are based on a pre-built standardized foundation of technology that facilitates better support. GI Cloud will prescribe the standards around interoperability, integration, security, data security and portability, etc., thus eliminating vendor lock-in scenarios.


Finally, it also breaks down silos between agencies and departments, and it increases operational agility and efficiency, enabling agencies to deliver better, faster, real-time services. And with increased pressures that today’s governments are facing, this continues to be more important than ever.

All in all, GI Cloud provides a collaborative solution for national, state and local government agencies, but ultimately, what a cloud solution for government really does in simplified terms is to create new possibilities for citizens and employees.

How has cloud enabled your agency or department to do more, work collaboratively and see workforce efficiencies? We welcome your response and feedback.

And stay tuned to the Cisco Government blog for the next installment of the cloud for local government blog series or click here to register and reserve your copy of the complete compilation of the blog series, including this blog as well as a variety of cloud resources, which will be available in May.

To read this blog in Spanish, click here.  For Portuguese, click here.