ACT-IAC’s cloud SIG needs you

2010 has already been deemed by some as the year of the cloud.

ACT-IAC is a non-profit, public-private partnership dedicated to improving government through the application of information technology.

They recently started a shared interest group (SIG) on cloud, and Habib Nasibdar is its chair.

He sat down with the Fed Cloud Blog to talk about why ACT-IAC decided to take this step.

Fed Cloud Blog: Tell us a little about this shared interest group. What are your ultimate goals?

Habib Nasibdar: The cloud computing shared interest group — SIG, as we call it — was created [in 2009] and it’s really a forum where industry partners get together with government executives in solving some of the core issues around cloud computing.

FCB How difficult was it to get people together from industry and the federal sector?

HN: It’s never easy to have people on the same page, but I guess the momentum put forward by the administration around cloud computing as part of the federal agenda [helped].

ACT-IAC’s leadership of immediate involvement to drive a dialogue around cloud computing helped tremendously.

FCB: When you have these discussions . . . are you finding that it’s harder for private industry to move forward or public, government agencies to move forward with cloud?

HN: It is actually difficult on both sides. Innovation is always driven by industry, and the government being the client, it drives and fuels that innovation.

It is difficult for government to adopt cloud, at times, because of the issues that they’re facing and trying to resolve.

I believe the dialogue is constant around some of the issues and challenges that federal agencies face in resolving those issues first, before the adoption begins.

FCB: Have you discovered anyone on [either] side who’s got a great set of best practices that everybody else might follow? Or are you still trying to figure out who that is?

HN: This whole cloud computing arena itself is so big, it would be unfair to say that anyone has any best practices, but there are certain federal agencies that have demonstrated, quite effectively, how they have adopted some of the core principles of cloud computing.

For example, you have RACE based out of DISA. They have done an exceptional job. Forge.mil is another DoD initiative. [Also] Nebula out of NASA. And, certainly, there’s Apps.gov.

So you have programs that are out there, but best practices are still in the works.

FCB: Do you see cloud computing as a whole facilitating the implementation of best practices [in other areas of government]?

HN Certainly. Cloud computing has a lot of promise.

That’s the reason there’s so much momentum behind it.

The short answer is, certainly, and again, as the discussions go on around cloud computing and federal adoption with industry innovation, I see things getting better.

FCB: Anything else you’d like to add?

HN: We, as a cloud computing SIG, are open to any industry partner who’s a member of IAC.

We have representatives from different perspectives, different functional organizations on our SIG.

What I would like to do is give a shout out to everyone . . . to participate, and help drive this dialogue further.

Find more details about how you can join here.

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