Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Microsoft speaks FISMA, TIC, FIPS 140-2, and ITAR --MS in the Cloud?

I was perusing Federalnewsradio.com today and came across the article. Microsoft is looking at the cloud for public sector organizations. According to Teresa Carlson, head of Microsoft Federal, explained that the company has been in the cloud for a very long time, but with this offering they have not just met -- but exceeded -- the federal requirements. Really? I didn’t know there were federal requirements for the cloud, but alas there are standards (FISMA, TIC, FIPS 140-2, and ITAR).

Carlson explained that Microsoft’s cloud offering would allow an agency to put its data in a Microsoft data center under the compliance standards she's outlined. "So, there's really a Trusted Internet Connection or TIC back into their system --managed with all the compliance and security enhancements. . . . They [the agency] would consolidate servers. They would not need as much personnel to manage all that data. Their [hardware] upgrades would be instant. They don't have a bunch of infrastructure that they have to manage, so their costs are going to be reduced."

She did stress, however, that while Microsoft is proud of its cloud offerings, agencies have to look at whether or not cloud is right for them.

Amen to that I say. Microsoft has been on the cloud sideline for a while as compared to Google, Amazon, and Apple among others. I think we need to change the paradigm even further, reduce the personal computer to a cloud device such as the Netbook, Chrome, or iPad or their successors. You want to cut costs and reduce personnel? Say bye to the PC. Furthermore, in order to adhere to Records Management, Paper Reduction, and other congressional Acts remove or limit the need to print! I don’t mean virtual desktops, I mean think outside of the box and retool your software and service delivery strategies. Xerox did this at PARC almost 40 years ago and then they walked away from it. Question: Are we going to walk away from a possible paradigm shift?

Click here for MS article.

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