Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cloud Computing a potential game changer in Goverment IT Space

E-governance is the mantra for all the state and union government now days. They are now spending heavily on IT systems to provide citizens speedy, efficient and transparent public services. Every department of government has now a website and some citizen centric IT application. But almost all of them struggling to provide citizens secure,reliable, highly available and scalable services. Main reason behind it is the lack of a centralized approach to handle IT system development, implementation,maintenance and up gradation. Currently almost all government departments develop and maintain its IT systems. They are responsible for development,procurement of hardware & software, setting up of IT infrastructure and further maintenance and up gradation. This is a big bottleneck in providing effective E-governance as these departments lack IT system lifecycle management skills.
Cloud computing can be an effective way to solve above problem. It is a cost effective and centralized solution for government e-governance initiative. It provides essentially two types of services
1. Platform as service
2. Software as service
Platform as service will solve all the issue related to hardware, software, security of applications,availability, scalability, reliability. Platform will be managed by specialists so quality of service will be great. Government departments can now focus on improving their processes and operations to provide quality services to citizens instead of grappling with IT system management. Another good thing will be that government can procure cloud space and services on need basis and scale up as services grow in demand in no time. So no lock in of money on
Hardware, Software for government.
Software as service will solve another major issue of application development and maintenance. Right now same department of different state governments are developing same type of custom IT applications for providing same type of citizen services. Some of the examples are MNREGA Application, PDS, Scholarships distribution, pension distribution and many more. Cloud based centralized application ,which are highly componentized, flexible, configurable and based on open standards, will solve major issues of application development, maintenance and up gradation.Such cloud based application can be configured quickly for different state government departments and they can roll out application quickly with minimum investment. This will help state governments to use its IT budget efficiently and optimally with assurance of quality applications and services.
Security is a big concern on cloud. So governments can go for combination of private and public cloud.Applications which are informative and less critical can be put on public cloud that to shared between different state governments which are still quite secure. Critical applications can be put on private cloud. These solutions will be quite secure then the current piece mill approach of IT system.
By embracing cloud government can optimally use it IT budget and provide great service to citizens.

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