The federal government’s march to the cloud has, at times, seemed more like a cautious ballet than anything else. While cloud-based projects are slowly rolling out, much of the agency emphasis is on private or community clouds as opposed to public providers. Security and data handling concerns play a role in this “tiptoeing,” but another reason is far more insidious: the fear of lock-in.
The Federal Shared Services Implementation Guide, the agency blueprint to the cloud, makes it very clear that government entities engaging in cloud computing need a clear “exit strategy” for anything as a service. It might seem ridiculous to consider how one should migrate from a technology before it is even implemented, but when it comes to the cloud, being able to get your data out is just as important as getting it in. It’s about choice and control.