Overview and Issues for Implementation of the Federal Cloud Computing Initiative: Implications for Federal Information Technology Reform Management [January 4, 2013] [open pdf - 429KB]
"Since 2009, the federal government has been shifting its data storage needs to cloud-based services and away from agency-owned, in-house data centers. This shift is intended to reduce the total investment by the federal government in information technology (IT) (data centers), as well as realize other stated advantages of cloud adoption: efficiency, accessibility, collaboration, rapidity of innovation, reliability, and security. However, there are challenges facing agencies as they make this shift. For example, some agency chief executive officers (CIOs) have stated that in spite of the stated security advantages of cloud computing, they are, in fact, concerned about moving their data from their data centers, which they manage and control, to outsourced cloud services. This and other concerns must be addressed to build an agency culture that trusts the cloud. This report explains what cloud computing is, including cloud deployment models and service models, discusses issues that should be considered when adopting cloud services, and presents the federal government's planning for IT reform. It also provides information on assessments that have been conducted on agency cloud adoption and discusses both the challenges and drivers of cloud adoption. Finally, the report provides possible mechanisms for Congress to monitor agencies as they implement cloud computing. An appendix summarizes cloud-related legislation in the 112th Congress."
CRS Report for Congress, R42887
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html