The CLOUD2 Commission Kicks Off: Q&A with Adam Famularo
Adam Famularo, general manager of the Cloud Computing business here at CA Technologies, recently was named a commissioner for TechAmerica Foundation’s new Commission on the Leadership Opportunity in U.S. Deployment of the Cloud (CLOUD²). The commission’s three-month mandate is to provide the Obama Administration with recommendations for how government could better deploy cloud computing, and for public policies that will help drive United States innovation in the cloud and spur economic growth.
In his role as a CLOUD² commissioner, Adam will collaborate with leaders across industry and academia to provide recommendations to drive further U.S. advancement and innovation with cloud computing. The commission’s first meeting took place on Friday, April 15, 2011, and I had a chance to catch up with Adam to get his reactions. Following is a recap of our conversation.
Christine Needles: Tell us about the first meeting. In your opinion, how did it go?
Adam Famularo: The first meeting went very well. A lot of material was covered setting expectations for what the commission was set up to accomplish and to make sure that our feedback was collected before we break off into smaller sub groups.
The main goal is to develop a set of recommendations for the federal government that answers the following two questions:
What are the barriers to utilization and deployment of the cloud by the public sector and what practices/policies can be used to overcome those barriers?
What public policies can be implemented that will facilitate adoption of the cloud by the commercial sector and thereby spur job growth and facilitate innovation?
We will be meeting several times over the next three months to complete the work, bringing together many of the technology industry’s leading experts on cloud.
CN: What topics did the group touch on and what seemed to be the top hot button issues for the group?
AF: During the first meeting, we got to hear from several senior leaders in the public sector, including Vivek Kundra, Federal CIO; Dr. Dave McClure, Associate Administrator, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, General Services Administration (GSA); and Gary Locke, Secretary, Department of Commerce; as well as representatives from industry and academia, including salesforce.com, VCE, Microsoft, CSC, Georgetown University and MIT.
Each of these experts discussed top areas of focus and concern in driving cloud adoption and innovation in the federal government. The topics centered on some key themes:
Data Sovereignty – where does (or should) the data live?
Security – belief that we overdo the security concern, what are some solutions that can help?
Data Portability and Interoperability – how can we use standards and policies to ensure portability and interoperability of our data?
Transparency and Vendor Lock-in – how can we prioritize applications to move to the cloud without being locked-in to any one vendor?
Regulations and Policies – how can we empower rather than restrict the move to cloud?
CN: What were the key take-aways from the meeting? Were there any concrete outcomes?
AF: I was impressed with the level of knowledge in the room. We have the right people that can make a real difference. We also need to act quickly, as all of the industry players in the room agreed that the cloud is our “Digital Gold” that we need to capitalize upon. We are in the position to set standards for the rest of the world to follow and need to move fast.
From our perspective, CA Technologies has a great opportunity to help drive standards development based on our work with SMI and other cloud standards organizations. We also have products and expertise to help organizations address the new challenges that cloud computing creates, and I am eager to help drive the commission’s work in this area.
CN: Can you tell us about next steps or plans that the group kicked off? Working groups, topics, etc.?
AF: There will be a series of working groups kicked off in our next meeting, set for May 24, 2011. The teams will be investigating the following topics:
Transnational Data Flows
Security/Privacy/Trust & Compliance
Infrastructure Investment & Transformation
Human Capital & Organizational Change Management
Management and Movement of Applications
Acquisition and Budgetary Concerns
I will be participating in the Security and Management break-out groups focused on the Public Sector.
CN: What do you see as the top barriers and opportunities for cloud-driven innovation in the U.S.?
AF: The most important challenge and opportunity that I see is making sure the policies we recommend in CLOUD2 create a floor that we can all build upon and not a ceiling that inhibits innovation.
The opportunity for the U.S. is to create the standards that are applied to cloud computing worldwide. We are the clear leader in this technology space and we need to capitalize on our first mover position to add more jobs – “Digital Gold.”
CN: Were there any unexpected conversations or themes that arose during the meeting?
AF: One common theme/concern was around moving applications and data to the cloud and then being able to move from vendor to vendor. We also have heard this concern with our enterprise and managed service provider customers. Likewise, government agencies want to make sure they can always give new vendors opportunities to provide a better level of service than they are receiving today, or to switch providers easily as requirements or needs change.
CN: Why is it important for CA Technologies to be a part of the conversation?
AF: We have a great opportunity to share our practical knowledge and technology expertise to solve many of the key challenges facing both the public sector and commercial markets. Through this group, I’m also able to gain a new level of understanding about what our customers – including those that specifically serve the public sector — see as their top challenges in cloud computing. With this insight, we can adjust our roadmaps to best meet our customers’ needs.