Vivek Kundra Keynote at the Cloud Computing Forum & Workshop

Vivek Kundra Keynote at the Cloud Computing Forum & Workshop

[ Music then Applause ]>>Good morning. How’s everyone doing? All right, I’ve never seen
so many people get excited about developing standards
[laughter] so this is great. It’s great to be here today. I want to start with a story, which is my first day
at the White House. I remember walking in and
it felt like I had walked into an environment that was
10 years behind technology. And as many of you know, the
president had to fight tooth and nail to actually
get a Blackberry. And I remember my team, unfortunately the way they
got Blackberry’s was actually assigned on seniority, the
number of years you’d been in government and the square
footage of your office. [laughter] And we looked at that
and said this makes no sense if we’re trying to drive change
across the federal government and leverage the
power of technology to transform the way the
federal government works, so it can serve the American
people more effectively. One of the biggest gaps in the
federal government is a gap in technology between
the private sector and the public sector. Unfortunately, many of
us have better technology at home today than
we do at work. And frankly, what ends up
happening is when we go home, we have access to all
sorts of platforms and we’re seeing innovation
happening in the consumer space. Whether it’s the ability to go
online and make a reservation at your best restaurant on
OpenTable or book a flight in minutes on Expedia or Orbitz
or any number of travel sites, or the ability to go online
and buy a book and have it at your doorstep within a day. Unfortunately when the
American people interact with their government, what ends
up happening is they’re forced to deal in an environment where
they go back 10, 15, 20 years. And part of what we’re
trying to do here as we think about cloud computing,
if we step back from the technology itself,
is to solve a very basic and fundamental problem. As you look at the mission of
the United States government and the investments
that we’re making, $76 billion plus
is spent annually on information technology, by
the United States government. We’ve got over 10,000 systems
across multiple agencies, and as Pat mentioned,
duplicative infrastructure, bureau after bureau, department
after department, and we’ve got over 300 million plus people
that we serve on a daily basis, from students in high
schools that are applying for student aid to
go to college, to veterans that are
applying for benefits, across the board what’s
happened is this gap continues to grow bigger and bigger. And of course we’ve got the 1.9
plus million federal employees. And if you think
about “Snowmageddon,” that’s when we realized how
big this technology gap was, when federal employees couldn’t
collaborate as a result of snow because they were not armed with
the appropriate technology tools to be productive,
anytime, anywhere. And what we did in September
of 2009, we began our journey in terms of cloud computing. I launched the strategy at
the NASA Ames Research Center and we’ve got Chris Kemp here,
who is from NASA, and we talked about the innovations that we
could leverage across the board, as far as cloud computing
is concerned. And NASA was leading the
way with its implementation of Nebula, a cloud computing
platform within the government. And what we wanted to be able
to do was begin this journey by being very pragmatic and also
being very aggressive in terms of closing this gap between
innovation and technology in the consumer space,
the private sector, and the public sector. We also partnered very
closely with state and local governments. I’ve been working very
closely with Steve Fletcher who is the head of NASCIO
[National Association of State CIOs] and the CIO
of Utah, on making sure that we’re leveraging the
public sector’s buying power and our ability to coordinate
at the federal, state, and local level, as we think
about standards, whether they’re on security, data portability,
and interoperability. And what’s exciting here is
whether it’s the way we’re structuring procurement
vehicles, making sure that states and
local governments can buy off of the vehicles that the
federal government has, or thinking about the
specifications that we need across the board,
it’s a partnership at every level of government. Today we’re going to
be releasing a report on that’s going
to outline 30 case studies that highlight the public
sector’s move towards cloud computing, lessons learned,
some of the challenges that we’ve faced, but a march
towards cloud computing, nonetheless, where we’re seeing
very specific tangible benefits. At the federal level, what we’ve
been doing is we’ve also been thinking about game-changing
approaches as far as how we move the federal
government towards the cloud. The data centers and the
infrastructure investments that have been made over the
last decades unfortunately are duplicative and they lead CIO’s
across agencies to focus purely on infrastructure
rather than thinking about how they can
deliver better services to the American people. So we’ve embarked on a data
center consolidation strategy where CIO’s across the
federal government are charged with coming up with
consolidation plans that will be reflected in the
fiscal year ’11 and ’12 budgets as we move towards
consolidation. But also this is a huge
opportunity for CIO’s across the federal government,
to rethink how they’re investing in information technology. What are the right candidates, as far as applications are
concerned, that can be moved to the cloud without
violating the privacy of the American people or compromising national
security in any way? That work is well underway and the federal CIO Council
is focused on making sure that we’re unearthing
the opportunities as we move towards the
cloud computing platform. The other important
work that’s happening within the federal government
is that we need to make sure that we’ve got the
right economic model for cloud computing. Unfortunately, the old
model required vendors to certify their products
with every single agency. Imagine having to
certify your product through hundreds of agencies. Well you’re gonna lose
your economic benefits, both from the vendor
side and also from the public sector’s side. So part of what we’re doing
with the FedRAMP [Federal Risk and Authorization
Management Program] program, is we’re making sure
that as we think about cloud computing solutions, that we’re centrally
certifying these solutions so that agency A can leverage
agency B’s certification so that we create
cross-government platforms and that we actually
realize, not just the savings but also the value, much faster and that we’ll also
accelerate the adoption towards cloud computing. But what’s really important
today, as Pat mentioned, is an area around security, interoperability and
data portability. We’re at the very, very
beginning of this journey and where we need your
help is to make sure that you’re collaborating and
working with us as we think about the standards
in this space. Because cloud computing
is going to be a platform for innovation as
we move forward. And what I want to do here
is actually jump into some of the case studies
that we’ve highlighted in the report that’s
gonna be on So if you think about it
from a business perspective, the SEC moved to Salesforce
when it came to thinking about the volume of responses,
it was getting 90,000 people, [they] go to the SEC and they
complain on an annual basis about transactions that
are being conducted. And in its role the SEC
unfortunately had 10-year-old technology and wasn’t really
able to serve the public, consistent with its mission. By moving to,
what the SEC was able to do was cut the time it took
to actually process cases, from 30 days to 7 days. It was also able to
move away from a model where you had an inefficient
distributed headquarters model where you’re moving around
paper, to a single platform where SEC officers could
track cases and complaints across the board, upload
documents, share them centrally and keep track of
what’s going on. And acquiring, I mean you have
these old antiquated systems across the federal government,
it was taking up to 10 seconds as they were going
from keystroke to keystroke in the old world. And now they’re able to
do it close to real time. As we look at the
Recovery Board, moved this
week to the Amazon cloud. And one of the reasons they
moved to the Amazon cloud was because it wanted to make
sure that it could use as much of the capital it has to focus
on its mission, which was to go after identifying fraud, waste,
and abuse and making sure that that money was being used
to achieve its mission rather than spending that money on
more hardware, more servers and building yet
another datacenter. Now what’s interesting
about the Recovery Board is that it’s the first
government-wide system to move to the cloud. It cuts horizontally
every single department in the U.S. government and
it also cuts vertically at the state and local level. Today we also moved to the Nebula cloud,
which is a NASA cloud. And that also is a
government-wide system which cuts horizontally
and vertically. If you look at the state of
Utah, under the leadership of Steve Fletcher, it’s
moving toward a model where they’re leveraging
both private clouds and private sector, or
leveraging consumer clouds, to make sure that they’re
focusing heavily on saving money from the challenges
that they face as far as the budget is concerned. So they’re gonna be able
to, and they’re 70 percent of the way through, by the way,
they’re gonna be able to go from 1800 physical servers that
they’re responsible for managing and running and operating,
to 400 virtual servers. And Steve Fletcher and his
team are projecting $4 million in annual savings out of
a $140-million budget. But what’s really
interesting here is at the state level what they’re
also doing is they’re providing these services to
local governments. Now in the state of Utah,
you’re able to leverage across the board, a platform
at the state, local level. Imagine the possibilities at
the federal level as we think about departments and agencies. You look at a department like
HHS [Health and Human Services] with CMS [Centers for Medicare &
Medicaid Services], CDC [Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention], FDA [Food and Drug Administration], a number of these
bureaus being able to leverage potentially common
platforms across the board. Look at what’s happening
in Los Angeles, which moved to Google Apps. Randi Levin the CIO there, one
of the chief reasons for them to move there wasn’t
just cost savings but additional functionality. The ability to move from
an antiquated email system to a platform that would allow
them to collaborate via video, instant messaging, the ability
to multiply storage by 25X and redundancy by geographically
dispersing the information across the board and of
course the built-in innovation that happens, instead of having
to upgrade on an annual cycle, literally iterative
upgrades built into the products themselves. Across the federal government
you’re seeing opportunities as far as cloud computing
is concerned. At HHS, they have leveraged
Salesforce as they are looking for the 2,000 plus users
that are going to be focused on electronic health
records implementation, a community of users nationally
in six weeks, rather than going through years of
development and planning. They will provide
service immediately. At the Department of
Interior it’s underway, consolidating multiple email
systems with 80,000 users and they’re moving
towards an RFP [request for proposal] process that’s
gonna move towards a cloud and leverage the
cloud computing model. I remember the secretary
told me, when he first came to the Department of Interior, he couldn’t send email
to all his employees. And the reason was because
they had all these systems that didn’t talk to each other. And they’re spending a fortune
and they had a ridiculous ratio of employees to servers, it
was something like 6 to 1. Across the board we’re seeing
a movement in that space. Of course NASA ended up
halting a procurement that could be worth
up to $1.5 billion to move towards a
cloud-first policy so they can reevaluate the
future of computing at NASA. What we’re seeing in terms of a momentum towards
cloud computing, it’s real. It’s here. It’s part of the
policy framework of this administration. We want to make sure
that we’re doing this in a very responsible,
methodical way and we need to make sure the work
that happens here today, the call to action is that
we want you to join us so we can collaboratively
develop the next set of standards to protect the
privacy of the American people to make sure that we address
issues around security, to make sure that
interoperability is addressed so what we’re not doing is
simply “webifying” our brick and mortar infrastructure
in a cloud infrastructure. To make sure that
data portability, allowing the buyside, the
customer, to choose when to move from vendor A to
vendor B, is preserved. That’s really, really
important work. In this community, all of you can help accelerate
cloud adoption by focusing on standards. And the journey into
the cloud computing and the standards activity
begins today in the same way that we launched the initiative at the NASA Ames Research
Center last September. So let’s roll up our sleeves and
start developing some standards. I want to thank Pat and Don and the countless people
I’ve missed, who’ve been hard at this issue for many, many
months and they’ve burned many, many hours but I think it’s
time now for the community to come together and we look
to you to help us as we try to transform the federal
government to make sure that we’re delivering
the best services we can to the American people. Thank you very much. [applause]

2 thoughts on “Vivek Kundra Keynote at the Cloud Computing Forum & Workshop

  1. Mr. Kundra and the Government's CIOs should be applauded as they intentionally move to Cloud computing platforms to save taxpayer money, become more responsive to citizens and drive productivity improvements. I especially liked his "Snow-megeddon" example of the 4 days in Feb '10 when the Government shut-down operations, yet found more technologically advanced capabilities at their HOMES than at work.

  2. As mentioned, all of these are important when considering Cloud Computing: Privacy, Security, Interoperability, and Data Portability. However, absent from your list was "Application Performance Management"

    There is a need to develop tight SLAs around "End User Experience" including the ability to troubleshoot to end across the networks and systems. I think CIOs may underestimate the challenge with moving some of these legacy applications – may not work well across the WAN. @PainPoint

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