When new technologies emerge one of the clearest signs that they have arrived in the mainstream is when major organizations begin exploring their potential at a large scale. Cloud computing in general got some credibility during the past few years when federal government initiatives showed that, when carefully deployed, the cloud can meet government requirements. Adding to the cloud's prestige, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is beginning to pursue more details about what cloud hosting can do for it.
FEMA and cloud hosting
FEMA's request for information is focused on exploring how cloud hosting could function as a solution for automated information system sharing solution. The technology is also being explored for its potential in automated information system discovery.
This type of effort points to just how pervasive cloud computing is becoming. Government organizations often depend on technology to maintain public services that are vital to running the country. When emergency-focused agencies like FEMA explore the cloud, businesses watching may want to pay attention. These types of usage models present corporations with a clear path as to how they can explore cloud hosting services within the specific context of their operational needs. If agencies like FEMA are able to identify ways to use cloud solutions strategically, there is a good chance that private companies will be able to get similar results.
It is important to note that FEMA's efforts are still at an entry level point. The agency's request for information is just that. There is no indication that the request for information will be followed by a request for proposal. Instead, FEMA is focused on learning more about what cloud hosting can do to meet its specific needs.
FEMA's carefully-measured approach to getting into the cloud can serve as an example to businesses.
Entering the cloud space successfully
Getting into the cloud is not always easy for organizations, but the benefits of a well-executed cloud plan can be substantial. To a great extent, cloud challenges stem from a lack of understanding about the technology. The issue is not that people looking into the cloud cannot grasp it, instead, it is that cloud computing is so diverse and can function in so many ways that it can be hard to pin down solutions that solve specific operational problems. This creates an environment in which choosing the right vendor is essential for long-term success. A provider that understands real business issues can work with customers to use the cloud effectively, making it much easier for them to take full advantage of the technology.