Dept. of Education CIO thinks about cloud

Today, Fed Cloud Blog talks with Danny Harris, chief information officer at the Department of Education.

Harris has a lot on his plate, as do most CIOs, and one of the things he’s working on is cloud computing.

He tells FCB more.

“A couple of things we’re looking at — cloud computing. And, I say ‘looking’ with caveats around it, because that’s really all we’re doing right now. We’re not ready to move, but certainly it looks attractive to us.”

“Folks ask me all the time — what lines of business are we looking at in terms of cloud computing, and I answer ‘yes’. We’re actually looking at everything that we do. The cost benefit for cloud computing is, it’s a given. I don’t think you’re going to find many people in Washington who argue that their return on investment couldn’t be a quick one. The thing that holds me back and that I’m trying to become more intelligent about is the security aspect. Every time I ask the question, I get the blank stares from folks who are actually pushing cloud computing. So, I will in the near future be working with GSA and others to get a better answer on — how do I handle the security issue from my door to the cloud. Once I get a good answer to that, you’ll probably see us jumping quickly into actually taking some of our services to the cloud.”

“We’re beginning to have those discussions, and more than anything else, we’re learning from others. I wouldn’t necessarily say that cloud computing is on the bleeding edge, but it’s certainly on the leading edge and this is one where Education would like to sit on the sideline for a few minutes and watch. . . . We want to learn from others who can demonstrate to us that this can be done and then we’ll follow suit. That’s our plan right now.”

Hear more from Danny Harris on Thursday’s Ask the CIO program on Federal News Radio.

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