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Cloud Computing and Government Finance

In a Dec 2013 article entitled Grabbing the Silver Lining, found in the Government Finance Offices Association Magazine, Rob Roque writes: "Despite the many benefits cloud solutions offer, the public sector has been cautious about adopting it – and will remain so until changes occur in technology definitions, subscription pricing, acceptance of risk, and procurement practices." For those in the governmental space, do you agree?


Anonymous User
Title: CFO
Company: Local Government Agency
(CFO, Local Government Agency) |

Cloud computing is a dirty word in our executive suites. The reason is twofold:

First, our IT administrator is absolutely against it. He doesn't trust it, points out the dependency it places on data communication, which we've already had plenty of problems with and his perception of a lack of seriously committed support from a third party vendor when there are issues. We have plenty of examples in our recent history that support this analysis.

Second is control. There is a great deal of fear of ceding control to an outside agency for something we are as dependent on as our IT systems.

I have to admit that both hesitancies have merit. We operate with 25 servers and probably thirty different software programs, most of which are proprietary, unique to our industry and customized to our specific operation.

We pay the original thirty vendors a steep price for annual upgrades, maintenance and service on the software. They need access to the systems on a regular basis to keep us humming along. If we were to move all of that to the cloud, I could see some issues related to support from these vendors vs access from the cloud host agency.

Additionally, I have concerns about security no matter how many cloud supporting gurus tell me that there is little risk. Just last week, Yahoo email service was hacked - again - and email addresses and passwords were stolen and used. I have spent hours changing my personal Yahoo account which was accessed multiple times yesterday from Nigeria and explaining to many contacts I have on my Yahoo account why they should ignore the phishing email they seemingly received from me! I can only imagine the privacy violations or the system disruption if our if our payroll, real time AVL or radio systems were hacked on a cloud based server.

So for now, we aren't headed to the cloud. :-(

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