Washington: Mixed Messages On How The Feds View The Cloud

Washington DCFederal Cloud Push Faces Skepticism: Many government officials continue to worry about security issues related to cloud-based implementations. Recent attacks on government and contractor systems have heightened these concerns, and while surveys of federal CIOs show concern about security, agencies have to comply with the new “Cloud First” policy, which encourages the cloud approach for new projects and requires transitioning several current efforts online by 2012.  The New York Times

DISA Will Offer Microsoft Office Cloud Products: Despite overall wariness, agencies are forging on. The Defense Information Systems Agency will begin to support Apple iPhones and Android phones on its enterprise e-mail system, and offer online versions of Microsoft Office through a cloud setup in the agency’s 14 data centers. DISA currently works with Microsoft to deliver cloud-based e-mail to 1.4 million active-duty Army, reserve and National Guard personnel. NextGov

Getting the Word Out When Cyber Attacks Happen: One great way to stop cyber attacks before they spread is simply to communicate about them. However, government contractors are often understandably reluctant to announce that their security has been breached. Now the Defense Department is looking for a way to increase reporting when both classified and unclassified sensitive data are compromised. Federal Times

Army Updates Tech In The Field: The Defense Department is transforming its business operations because of new budget and battlefield realities. Among other things, the Army has launched an initiative to update the way it uses technology to support soldiers on the battlefield. Col. John Morrison is at the center of that effort, and says the new strategy is helping the service move toward cutting-edge IT. Its  twice-yearly Network Integration Evaluation is serving as a test run for the latest software and technologies. Federal Computer Week

Mobile Apps Reshape Government Operations: To date, Federal agencies have launched 75 mobile apps for public use, but some of the best innovations are happening at the state level. In Arkansas, for example, 28 of the state’s 68 counties let residents pay their property taxes through mobile devices. Interestingly, the largest proportions of users who look to their smartphone as their Internet access device make less than $30,000 annually. They may not have enough money for a computer, but everyone has a smartphone now. NextGov