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This is a guest post by contributor Jacqueline Vanacek
As a follow-on to our first edition of Into the Cloud with SAP, I wanted to update you on key milestones and next steps of the US Federal CLOUD2 Commission.
The CLOUD conversation is sizzling in both the private and public sectors these days—in the United States and abroad. And SAP is playing a very active role in helping shape the discussion for the benefit of our customers.
On September 21, I had the privilege of attending both a House of Representatives Technology and Innovation Subcommittee hearing and a Congressional High Tech Caucus briefing in Washington, D.C.
In the morning’s House Technology and Innovation Subcommittee hearing, Chairman Ben Quayle (R-AZ) said, “the opportunities and challenges presented by cloud computing” would be examined to consider the role that federal policy should—and should not—play “in the growing cloud computing enterprise.”
A panel of IT industry executives from the US CLOUD2 Commission testified about the commercial opportunities that cloud computing offers, the challenges such as cybersecurity and standards, and the federal government initiatives to adopt cloud computing internally and develop policies to nurture U.S. leadership in cloud innovation.
The House Subcommittee’s acknowledgement of cloud computing’s potential impact on the U.S. economy was invigorating.Chairman Quayle noted that “cloud computing has the potential to be the next” great “IT wave, offering significant opportunities for new innovation, and productivity gains for both the public and private sectors.”
I spoke directly with Chairman Quayle after about the massive job creationopportunities enabled by cloud computing—and the stories of SAP customers creatively leveraging the cloud to grow their business. We also spoke of how to best support the Technology and Innovation Subcommittee’s efforts to showcase not just the IT savings from cloud computing but the job creation benefits as well—as delivered by you.
Later that afternoon, I participated in the Congressional and High Tech Caucus briefing on the US CLOUD2 Commission findings, held in the U.S. Senate offices. This briefing was another step to educate Congressional staffers and stakeholders on what the cloud is, cloud business models and related policy issues such as cybersecurity, privacy, transnational data flows and more.
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and House of Representatives/Congressional High Tech Caucus co-chair Doris Matsui (D-CA) each said cloud computing had the ability to “spur innovation and job creation,” and Sen. Coons said it would help the Federal government deliver “higher quality constituent services and better project management.”
The Congressional High Tech Caucus recently established the Cloud Task Force, which will foster an ongoing collaboration between industry and Congress to address cloud policies and issues.
Sen. Coons further identified the need to:
a) build a technological infrastructure to enable “the dramatic leap forward” via cloud computing “from digital devices to whole network systems to governments small, medium, and large,” and
b) clarify the “risks and rewards of cloud computing” in architecting a regulatory framework of “private and public sector protections” in this new world of the cloud.
Perhaps the most immediate government action impacting the cloud is the Senate Judiciary Committee’s debate on the Data Breach Notification Act. This measure harmonizes existing state laws into a unified national requirement that better protects consumers and businesses if personal data were lost or stolen. The need for a “comprehensive national strategy to protect data privacy and cybersecurity” has been cited as “one of the most challenging and important issues facing our Nation. The strategy would also need to address changes to the technology landscape that newer IT innovations like cloud computing introduce.
It is gratifying to see the importance that key federal policymakers are placing on cloud computing—with recognition of its impact not just on the United States but also on the global economic opportunity.
SAP will continue to actively participate in and help shape these discussions going forward. I look forward to also keeping you informed about the newly launched US State/Local CLOUD2 Commission, the EU Cloud Commission already underway, and activities in other regions of the world.
Jacqueline Vanacek is SAP Vice President, Cloud Computing Evangelist and US Federal CLOUD2 Deputy Commissioner. She brings 25 years of business, IT and operations experience in the software and hardware industries. She has been with SAP for 3.5 years, was previously with adaptive infrastructure partner Fujitsu, and before that was a longtime customer and SAP user at HP. Jacqueline has a special interest in how cloud computing as the next IT wave can strategically enable new business creation, mergers and acquisitions and global expansion – and invites customers to share their cloud-based success stories.Contact Jacqueline at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her at Twitter @JacquelnVanacek.