HUD touts experience with cloud, will share lessons learned

You might have heard that Jerry Williams, CIO at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, reorganized his office since he took over in July, 2009.

He was a recent guest on Ask the CIO on Federal News Radio — but now shares some cloud insights with the Fed Cloud Blog, saying that HUD is one of the first agencies to move into the cloud.

“We do business today in a cloud, and we will certainly continue to do that. There’s a lot of effort and a lot of movement going on across government in cloud computing and we’re aligning ourselves with those efforts. We’re going to continue to do the kinds of things that we need to do to reduce our costs and enhance our efficiency here at HUD.”

Williams brought up the HUD Information Technology Services contract — HITS — which is about five years old now. He said many don’t automatically think ‘cloud’ when they think ‘HITS’ — but he wants everyone to know that HITS is cloud.

Since his agency has been working in the cloud for so long, he said he does have advice for other agencies when it comes to looking at cloud computing.

“We’re boning up on [cloud], so that whenever the appropriate opportunity presents itself for a recompete, we understand very clearly the pros and cons of doing business in that environment. For us, it’s a matter of doing business in a private cloud versus a public cloud. So, we need to figure out what the pluses and minuses were for doing it in that environment before we take the next step in this process.”

He added that there are always lessons to be learned, but that doesn’t mean that other CIO’s shouldn’t pick up the phone.

“Certainly, we’re positioning ourselves to be able to tell a story about our experiences in doing cloud computing, albeit, ours will be in a private cloud environment.”

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