Google: Local governments set cloud trends for 2010

As promised, we continue our conversation this week with Google, which has started to deliver cloud services to federal agencies.

David Mihalchik, Business Development Executive for Google Federal, tells Fed Cloud Blog more about how his company plans to do business with the federal government in 2010.

FCB: In terms of deal with the government . . . can you give us a bit of an idea of what that process is like when you started looking and said — hey maybe we can provide cloud for the federal government. What was that process like?

DM: Really, it was about talking with our customers and understanding their requirements and understanding their desire to use cloud computing services — and the need and the benefit to government customers.

So many government customers today are trying to solve this problem — how can I reduce my IT spending while, at the same time, improve performance and keep pace with innovation?

That’s something that’s hard to do, but cloud computing does offer an answer.

Not every cloud computing solution or application may offer the right solution for government, but there are cloud computing solutions that meet government security requirements and that are mature enough today to be used in full production by government agencies.

I think that email and collaboration are very good examples of those.

FCB: Just a question about apps.gov . . . Does Google have any apps up yet? Maybe you can give us a timeline?

DM: Our product is actually available on apps.gov. Government agencies have purchased Google apps from apps.gov.

FCB: Do you foresee cloud becoming even more of a solution for the federal government? Are you doing work with state and local governments, as well? What do you see as the future of cloud in 2010?

DM: I think as agencies understand the benefits of cloud computing and as they understand the particulars of the security environment and of the other capabilities that are offered by cloud computing, that we will see much greater adoption of cloud computing in 2010 across the government.

We’ve seen this in state and local governments.

The District of Columbia uses Google apps. The city of Los Angeles, just at the end of last year, made a decision to migrate all of the city’s users to Google apps.

The city of Orlando now is using Google apps, as well, so I think this is the start of a trend that we’ll see take off even more in 2010

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