White House unveils cloud-based Apps.gov in bid to fix federal IT

Cloud computing is the future of federal computing, CIO Vivek Kundra suggested today, with the announcement of Apps.gov and a dedicated government offering from Google.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor
The White House has released Apps.gov, which Federal CIO Vivek Kundra described on a blog post like this:
Apps.gov is an online storefront for federal agencies to quickly browse and purchase cloud-based IT services, for productivity, collaboration, and efficiency. ... By consolidating available services, Apps.gov is a one-stop source for cloud services – an innovation that not only can change how IT operates, but also save taxpayer dollars in the process.

The cloud initiative is supposed to - finally! - break the well-deserved reputation of federal IT (the government spends $75 billion annually on IT) as broken, corrupt and brain-dead.

With more rapid access to innovative IT solutions, agencies can spend less time and taxpayer dollars on procedural items and focus more on using technology to achieve their missions.

In concert with this announcement, eWeek reports, Google plans a cloud-based offering for government next year. This appears to be essentially the current bundle of Google Apps offered to business (which, of course, are the same online products offered to the public), but run on a completely dedicated infrastructure.

The government cloud will constitute a "dedicated parallel environment" to Google's commercial Google Apps cloud for consumers and enterprises, Matt Glotzbach, director of product management for Google Enterprise, told eWEEK in an interview.

Data created in this cloud by federal, state and local government agencies will be hosted on separate servers within existing Google data centers in the United States. Storing such data on separate servers makes sense, given all of the sensitive information the government generates.

Editorial standards