Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has been another revolutionary moment in our history of technology. With the invention of “the cloud”, data is accessible virtually anywhere; large scale data farms are no longer needed and costs for storing information are decreasing. TechAmerica’s membership consists of the leading cloud companies and the experts from the companies guide TechAmerica’s cloud policy.

Federal Policy Environment

Because of the global nature of cloud computing, the issue cuts across all of TechAmerica’s policy arenas. The government cloud computing market is growing as is the commercial market, especially internationally.   There are a variety of policy issues being considered by Congress and the Administration including cloud policies related to security, privacy, interoperability, data protection and the free flow of data across borders to name a few.

There are also policy threats to the cloud business model such as proposed domestic local data storage requirements.   Another challenge is updating current law to account for cloud computing technology such as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

TechAmerica Position

TechAmerica is opposed to the creation of regulatory-environments that are cloud computing-specific, but supports updating current laws and regulations that otherwise inhibit cloud computing growth.

Changes in law can lead to greater trust in cloud computing services, which leads to greater adoption.

TechAmerica Action

TechAmerica is the leading industry association voice on the subject of cloud computing.  With the inception of the TechAmerica Foundation’s Commission on the Leadership Opportunity in U.S. Deployment of the Cloud (CLOUD2), TechAmerica has been a vocal advocate on Capitol Hill, in state capitals and around the globe of the benefits of cloud computing.

The TechAmerica Foundation CLOUD2 Commission, which consisted of 71 companies, released its comprehensive report and recommendations in July 2011, providing recommendations on how the federal government can better use cloud computing.  TechAmerica has hosted Congressional educational briefings on the cloud business model; helped to launch Congressional High Tech Caucus’s Cloud Computing Task Force so the technology community can interact with Congress on cloud policy; and are participating as part of third party coalitions, related to cloud policy including ECPA reform.

Following the highly successful release of the findings of its CLOUD2 Commission, TechAmerica continued to demonstrate its leadership by forming an expert panel of industry leaders, as well as government advisors from around the country, to develop guidance to help state and local governments adopt and implement cloud technologies. The Foundation’s State & Local Government Cloud Commission (SLG-CC) mission was to produce findings and recommendations that enable state and local governments to better serve their citizens by optimizing and advancing their use of cloud computing.

International Policy Environment

OnSeptember 27, 2012, the European Commission issued a Cloud Computing Strategy entitled Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe and a Staff Working Paper. The Strategy was the culmination of more than 18 months of broad stakeholder consultations across numerous stakeholder groups, including TechAmerica Europe.

The Strategy provided by the European Commission, focuses on the benefits of Cloud (elastic, easily provisioned, cost effective etc) and highlights some of the issues that must be addressed, including issues more specific to government adoption and provisioning of Cloud. Further, it outlines actions to deliver a net gain of 2.5 million jobs in Europe, and an annual boost of EUR 160 billion to EU GDP (around 1%), by 2020.[1]

Among other, the following key actions are mentioned in the report and work on them has started already:

  • Mapping of technical Cloud Computing Standards with the aim of providing cloud users with interoperability, data portability and reversibility. ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) has been tasked to lead the mapping and exercise and is supposed to finish the work within 2013.
  • Support for EU-wide certification schemes for trustworthy cloud providers. ENISA has been asked to study how the cloud computing certification landscape looks like in order find out whether European cloud computing schemes should be set up.
  • Development of model ‘safe and fair’ contract terms for cloud computing contracts including Service Level Agreements. DG Connect has started looking into the subject and currently aims to develop guidelines for cloud contracts as well as Service Level Agreements.

TechAmerica Action

TechAmerica Europe welcomes the European Commission’s Communication “Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe” as a beneficial step forward in the development of globally consistent policy frameworks that will help industry deliver the promised potential of cloud computing. We will assure that it promotes globally consistent, market driven, consensus based standards that support the variety of cloud types and implementations as well as the range of sectoral, commercial and private business models of cloud computing.  We are also keen to ensure that the cloud strategy appropriately supports the critically needed flexibility of contractual and other terms while providing the requisite legal certainty to foster Cloud adoption.

Cloud Computing Insights

TechAmerica offers a range of exclusive reports and updates on cloud computing.

TechAmerica Cloud Computing Committee

Chair: Yogesh Khanna (CSC) Vice Chair: Marcus Fedeli (Unisys)

This Committee’s mission is to educate policy makers, federal government marketplace and customers about the implications of the emergence of cloud computing.

TechAmerica Staff Contact

David Logsdon
Senior Director, Public Sector, Federal Civil

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