11 years, 4 days ago

Enterprise Architecture driving Private Cloud adoption by U.S. Federal Government

Despite all the incumbent benefits offered to businesses that own and operate their own Private Cloud, adoption rates since its emergence have been slower than anticipated, especially across Government organisations. This is largely the result of repeated reports from experts warning against the associated security risks that come from placing sensitive data in cyber space.

It is also likely a factor of large companies not having an enterprise architecture framework in place.  As companies seek to consolidate, adapt or implement new technology, the absence of a leading frameworks such as TOGAF can make adoption and speed of roll out incredibly costly.

As it stands, Private Cloud adoption remains stagnated…..

U.S. Federal Government to embrace Private Cloud

This might be set to change as the U.S. Federal Government embarks into the Private Cloud sector, perhaps dragging the masses with them. Latest research from the IDC predict private cloud services spending from Federal Government is set to reach $1.7 billion by FY2014, then  more than quadrupling to $7.7 billion by FY 2017.

The current and future accelerate growth is reported to be the direct result of enterprise architecture standards and rules currently being adopted throughout the U.S. Federal Government in the form of FEAF. This  framework in turn helps to facilitate a commodity approach to the adoption of cloud based solutions.

Investment into cloud by the U.S. Federal Government originally stalled between 2013 to 2014 following:

  • Sequestration (yeah, I had to look this word up in Wikipedia too)
  • A stagnation of system consolidation efforts by the government
  • Issues related to establishing and rolling out enterprise architecture standards

The IDC however fully expects this freeze to end come mid 2014 at which point spending on federal cloud will not only resume but also accelerate.

FEAF leads the way

Ever since the U.S. Federal Government passed the Clinger-Cohen Act in 1996, recognising Enterprise Architecture as the de facto standard for strategy and management, they have continuously embraced and evolved the practice.

In September 1999, they launched their own architecture known as “Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework” (FEAF). Since its inception, the U.S. Federal Government have continuously  improved and implemented the framework. This has culminated in the creation of a system that transcends inter-agency boundaries by developing a common taxonomy and ontology for describing IT Resources.

When advancements occur and technologies must be retired or adapted, such is the case with emergence of private and public cloud, implementing the FEAF structure and facilitating change across such a huge organisation can be a slow (especially in government) and painful process. However, the initial delay has created the roadmap through which the U.S. Federal government can now roll out Private Cloud adoption at an accelerated rate, as predicted by the IDC.

A game of catch up…..

The IDC’s report has come as welcome news to the U.S. Federal CIO Council, who have been a driving force for Private Cloud, claiming that the government is behind the times when it comes to unified adoption of cloud. No doubt, this will also come as welcome news to purveyors of SaaS, IaaS and PaaS who stand to benefit from the Government getting up to speed on Private Cloud adoption. As it stands, the investment by FY 2017 is divided with:

  • SaaS (software as a service) despite being the leading cloud solution in the market will only receive $2.4 billion investment.
  • PaaS (platform as a service) will increase to $1.1 billion investment.
  • IaaS (infrastructure as a service) is the service of choice for the U.S. Federal Government receiving $5.4 billion of investment.

A final word…

So as the U.S. government moves into the Private Cloud we are once again reminded of the power of having a robust and effective enterprise architecture in place. I for one will watch with interest to see if the IDC report becomes a reality and keep my ears to the ground on developments / issues.

If you have any questions, or you want to have your say feel free to drop us a line.


Author Bio:

Edward Jones is a Technical Writer for Firebrand Training, who offer TOGAF 9.1 training. Edward writes on a range of topics across enterprise architecture, project management and all things IT certification.