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Defense Acquisition University
Demystifying Cloud Computing
Written by: DAU Public Affairs Office
February 06, 2019
The Federal government spends more than $80 billion--or 31 percent of its annual Information Technology (IT) budget--on redundant and inefficient infrastructure, according to ITdashboard.gov. For instance, since 1998 the Federal government has increased the number of its data centers by 385 percent--this is the opposite of what the private sector is doing. Leading companies are saving billions of dollars by standardizing and centralizing these services through cloud computing. This technology has the potential to save billions of dollars and increase speed to market compared to the alternative of expanding dedicated agency-specific systems implementations.
Department of Defense (DoD) agencies are struggling with how to use existing acquisition methods to acquire cloud services that use consumption and rate-based business models. Cloud computing presents an enormous paradigm shift from the usual acquisition model for acquiring traditional IT services. An understanding of how to acquire IT “As-A-Service” must be addressed in order to obtain the benefits that these services can provide. The technology is mature and available commercially and therefore a lesser concern than the existing business and contracting models.
The DoD Cloud Acquisition Guide
provides information and best practices that will allow programs to take advantage of the opportunities provided by cloud services. This new paradigm requires agencies to understand how to acquire critical services and re-think not only the way they acquire IT services in the context of deployment, but also how the IT services they consume provide mission and support functions on a shared basis. The Guidebook also includes information on the importance of understanding the commercial cloud environment as well as how planning can avoid potential risk areas such as vendor-lock and hidden costs.
The Guidebook provides a broad overview of Cloud computing terminology and concepts in addition to detailed considerations for DoD Personnel based on their roles and responsibilities in the acquisition of IT capabilities.
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